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    Trinity Baptist Church, CPCRN mini-grant recipient group

South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network partners with communities to improve health, reduce cancer disparities

April 28, 2021 | Erin Bluvas,

Twelve years after the UofSC Prevention Research Center established the South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (SC-CPCRN), the Network has become more impactful than anyone predicted. Co-principal investigators Daniela Friedman and James Hébert do know what to credit for this success, however: learning from and partnering with communities.

“SC-CPCRN collaborates closely with community and state organizations to bring evidence-based programs and interventions to communities who need them the most to reduce cancer-related health disparities,” Friedman says. “Communities know what they need best, so it is essential that we work with them from the beginning and all the way through dissemination and beyond.” The “beyond” part was the perk they hadn’t expected.

SC-CPCRN collaborates with the other seven network centers that make up the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network – a national network of academic, public health and community partners. The coordination at the national level has been instrumental to the SC-CPCRN’s effectiveness but it has been the community engagement at the local level that has made the greatest impact.

In the early days of the SC-CPCRN, which is currently in its third consecutive funding cycle, these relationships began through a formal mechanism, such as the center’s Community Health Intervention Program mini-grants initiative. That’s how the team met Delores Fedrick.

“Delores Fredrick is the director of the Chester County Literacy Council, but she’s really the champion of everything going on in Chester county,” says Friedman. “Because cancer rates are disproportionately higher in Chester County, she has been involved in a number of initiatives related to health, and her goal is to ensure that all communication, materials, and programming, uses clear language, is culturally relevant, shares evidence-based resources, and mobilizes people to action.”

Fedrick first encountered the SC-CPCRN team a decade ago when she applied for a $10,000 mini-grant to implement the National Cancer Institute’s evidence-based intervention, Eat for Life, to promote healthy lifestyle changes in her community. Under Fedrick’s leadership, and with support from the SC-CPCRN team, the intervention successfully increased healthy eating and nutrition literacy among the African-American community in Chester County.  

"Our partnership with SC-CPCRN continues to be the gamechanger for improving health literacy and health status for many in our county," Fedrick says. "From the researchers to the clinicians to the evidenced-based programs, we receive support for the best ways to solve the root causes of poor health – from assessing current eating habits to maintaining healthy weights, supporting active lifestyles, and reducing the risks of chronic diseases. With SC-CPCRN, we get a multi-disciplinary team of leaders who share insights about what types of framing and messaging work most effectively to build understanding, support and a 'healing environment' throughout Chester county."

That initial partnership led to many more collaborations. Fedrick was a key community partner on an NCI- and National Institute for Environmental Health Science-funded R03 project to improve communication strategies about environmental risks of breast cancer for African American women. The team recently submitted a proposal, with Fedrick as community principal investigator, for an R01 grant to expand this work with additional stakeholders and researchers. Meanwhile, Fedrick currently serves on the SC-CPCRN’s community advisory council and is a partner on a health literacy initiative funded by The Duke Endowment.

Fedrick has also applied for and received funding from the SC Cancer Alliance and has written a cookbook. One of her most impactful roles, however, is her unofficial one as a mentor and liaison to other community leaders who have worked with and been funded by the SC-CPCRN. And she’s not the only one. There are now many veterans like Fedrick who have maintained their relationships with the academic, clinical, and community partners involved in this work.

These connections and supports (both formal and informal) across the state have been some of the best and most impactful outcomes of the SC-CPRN’s work over the last 12 years. With the announcement of the 2021 mini-grantees, that network is set to grow even further. Upper Midlands Rural Health Network will focus on physical activity to combat cancer in rural communities, and Trinity Baptist Church (pictured above with their first mini grant) will lead a cancer screening initiative encouraging preventive care that may have been delayed due to COVID-19.

“Our role at UofSC is to help make connections and share evidence-based resources, however, the community members are the real experts. They have the contextual expertise, and they are the true champions and leaders of our efforts focused on reducing cancer-related health disparities and improving equity,” Friedman says.

*The SC-CPCRN Community Advisory/Council members are: Graham Adams, Delores Fedrick, Wilhelmenia Mathias, Johnny Payne, Abraham Turner, John Ureda, Vicki Young, and Diana Zona. Additional South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network faculty include Jan Eberth, Swann Arp Adams, Sue Heiney, Lauren Workman, Karen Wickersham (affiliate), and Ciaran Fairman (affiliate). The program coordinator is Sam Noblet. 

Want to know more?

Learn about our past grant recipients and their projects.

Implementation of the Eat for Life program in 10 churches throughout Chester County to promote health eating.
Focus: Nutrition
PI: Delores Fedrick

Developing and Promotion of a walking trail around the existing recreational field next to the church in order to increase opportunities for physical acitivty in Orangeburg County.
Focus: Physical Activity
PI: Miriam Jones Evans

Continued implementation of the Witness Project in South Carolina. Breast and Cervical cancer survivors were trained and then presented to communities in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties to stress the importance of early detection and addressing the fear factor.
Focus: Cancer Prevention
PI: Jacqueline Talley

Promotion and education about the importance of colorectal cancer screening through educational sessions and ending with a theatrical play entitled "Rise Up, Get Testing & Live" which was performed at Trinity Baptist Church.
Focus: Colorectal Cancer
PI: Wilhelmenia Mathais

The principal objective of this program was to increase colorectal cancer screening awareness in at-risk group communities in Sumter County South Carolina. 
Focus: Colorectal Cancer
PI: Ann Naimie

Developing and Promotion of two walking trails in Fairfield County. A downtown historical walking tour and the Alston trailhead of the Peak to Prosperity Passage, which is part of the Palmetto Trail.
Focus: Physical Activity
PI: Karen Nichols

Trinity Baptist Health and Wellness ministries will promote 'catching up' on health screenings, vaccinations and testing that may have been neglected due to COVID-19. These include: breast cancer, flu, pneumonia, shingles vaccinations, prostate cancer screening, covid-19 testing and dental cleanings for those 65+ in rural communities.
Focus: Health Screenings
PI: Wilhelmenia Mathais

Read about work co-created and co-published by partners and SC-CPCRN and R03 teams.

Published Papers
Adams, S.A., Haynes, V.E., Brandt, H.M., Choi, S.K., Young, V.M., Eberth, J.M., Hebert, J.R., & Friedman, D.B.  (2020). Cervical cancer screening behaviors and proximity to federally qualified health centers in South Carolina. Cancer Epidemiology, 65 (DOI: 10.106/j.canep.2020.101681).
Brandt, H.M., Young, V.M., Campbell, D.A., Choi, S.K., Seel, J.S., & Friedman, D.B.  (2015).  Federally qualified health centers’ capacity and readiness for research collaborations: Implications for clinical-academic-community partnerships. Clinical and Translational Science, 8(4), 391-393. 
Choi, S.K., Seel, J.S., Steck, S.E. Payne, J., McCormick, D., Schrock, C.S., & Friedman, D.B.  (2018). Talking about your prostate: Perspectives from providers and community members. Journal of Cancer Education, 33(5), 1052-1060.
Friedman, D.B., Arent, M.A., Yelton, B., Sakhuja, M., Haynes, V.E., Noblet, S., Brandt, H.M., Isenhower, W.D., Wandersman, A., Zona, D., New, C., Fedrick, D., Scaccia, J., & Bruner, L. (2020 Sept 10 Epub). Development of a clinical-academic-community collaboration to improve health literacy. Journal of Primary Care and Community Health (DOI: 10.1177/2150132720957440).
Friedman, D.B., Arp Adams, S., Brandt, H.M., Heiney, S.P., Hebert, J.R., Ureda, J.R., Seel, J.S., Schrock, C.S., Mathias, W., Clark-Armstead, V., Dees, V., & Oliver, P. (2019).  “Rise Up, Get Tested, and Live”: An arts-based colorectal cancer educational program in a faith-based setting.  Journal of Cancer Education, 34(3), 550-555. 
Friedman, D.B., Johnson, K.M., Owens, O.L., Thomas, T.L., Gansauer, L., Dawkins, D.S., Bartelt S., Talley, J., Waddell, N.M., Bearden, J.D. III, & Hebert, J.R.  (2012). Developing partnerships and recruiting dyads for a prostate cancer informed decision making program: Lessons learned from a community-academic-clinical team. Journal of Cancer Education, 27(2), 243-249.  
Hebert, J.R., Arp Adams, S., Ureda, J.R., Young, V.M., Brandt, H.M., Heiney, S.P., Seel, J.S., & Friedman, D.B.  (2018).  Accelerating research collaborations between academia and federally qualified community health centers: Suggestions shaped by history. Public Health Reports, 133(1), 22-28.
Kulkarni, S., Lewis, K., Arp Adams, S., Brandt, H.M., Lead, J.R., Ureda, J.R. Fedrick, D., Mathews, C., & Friedman, D.B. (2018). A comprehensive analysis of how environmental risks of breast cancer are portrayed on the Internet. American Journal of Health Education, 49(4), 222-233.
Lewis, K.R., Kulkarni, S., Adams, S.A., Brandt, H.M., Lead, J.R., Ureda, J.R., Fedrick, D., Mathews, C., & Friedman, D.B.  (2018).  “For lack of knowledge, our people will perish”: Using focus group methodology to explore African American communities’ perceptions of breast cancer and the environment. Environment International, 121(Pt 1):111-118.
McCracken, J.L., Friedman, D.B., Brandt, H.M., Arp Adams, S., Xirasagar, S., Ureda, J.R., Mayo, R.M., Comer, K., Evans, M., Fedrick, D., Talley, J., Broderick, M., & Hebert, J.R.  (2013). Findings from the Community Health Intervention Program in South Carolina: Implications for reducing cancer-related health disparities.  Journal of Cancer Education, 28(3), 412-419.  
Troy, C., Brunson, A., Goldsmith, A., Noblet, S., Steck, S.E., Hebert, J.R., Payne, J., McCormick, D., & Friedman, D.B. (2020 June 20 Epub). Implementing community-based prostate cancer education in rural South Carolina: A collaborative approach through a statewide cancer alliance. Journal of Cancer Education (DOI: 10.1007/s13187-020-01800-7).
Yelton, B., Brandt, H.M., Adams, S.A., Ureda, J.R., Lead, J.R., Fedrick, D., Lewis, K., Kulkarni, S., & Friedman, D.B. (2021).  “Talk About Cancer and Build Healthy Communities”: How visuals are starting the conversation About breast cancer within African-American communities. International Quarterly of Community Health Education, 41(3), 267-274 (DOI: 10.1177/0272684X20942076).
Yelton, B., Lead, J.R., Arp Adams, S., Brandt, H.M., Kulkarni, S., Lewis, K., Fedrick, D., Ureda, J.R., & Friedman, D.B.  (2020 April 20 Epub). How do African American community members’ perceptions about environmental risks of breast cancer compare with the current state of the science? Journal of Cancer Education (DOI: 10.1007/s13187-020-01748-8).


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