Linda Ko, Professor and Associate Chair in the UW Department of Health Systems and Population Health (HSPop), received a $250,000 Emergent Issues in Public Health Grant from the Andy Hill CARE Fund to examine methods to increase cancer screening among limited English-proficient populations by building the capacity of community health workers to select, adapt, and implement evidence-based interventions for cancer prevention and control.
“Cancer prevention and control among limited English-proficient communities is a national priority, and National Cancer Institute has identified implementation science as key to increasing adoption of evidence-based interventions,” Ko said. “Unfortunately, evidence-based interventions are underused in these communities due to low awareness.”
Ko’s team has developed an implementation strategy dubbed “Implementation Studio” to build the capacity of community health workers employed by community-based organizations to select, adapt, and implement evidence-based interventions for cancer prevention and control with funding from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The objective of Implementation Studio is to build knowledge of evidence-based interventions and skills on the implementation of those interventions in community-based organization settings. The Implementation Studio was pilot tested with community health workers who serve Spanish-speaking Latinos in rural communities through virtual training.
The grant will allow Ko and her team, including collaborators Peggy Hannon with the UW Department of Health Systems and Population Health and Allison Cole from the UW Department of Family Medicine, to expand the training beyond Spanish-speaking community health workers and build the institutional capacity of community-based organizations and interpersonal capacity of community health workers to address cancer screening disparities among limited English-proficient communities in Washington State. “We need proactive approaches to address cancer disparities, and our data show that Implementation Studio can be part of that solution.”