The Office of Health Initiatives and Disparities Research offers several Patient Navigation Programs. The programs address a critical disconnect between incidence and mortality for cancers. This occurs primarily because cancer is diagnosed at late stages due to low screening rates and because of long intervals between screening, confirmed diagnosis, and treatment. Expanding the reach of the patient navigation program will help those most in need of services and impacted from disparities. Below is a brief description of each patient navigation programs we offer:
The mammography program provides cancer screenings for patients who meet screening guidelines and qualify to receive breast cancer screening services, as well as patients who are uninsured/underinsured.
The colorectal cancer screening program provides cancer screenings for patients with an emphasis on underserved populations/regions which has the highest incidence and mortality rates. The program collaborates with other agencies in the academic, health practice and lay communities committed to colorectal cancer prevention and control.
The cervical cancer education prevention program educates males and females between the ages of 11-26 years and their families about HPV related diseases. In 2019, ACIP approved the vaccine for those through age 45. HPV is associated with anal, vulva, and penial cancers, therefore, our previous project was to screen those in the UAMS Infectious Disease (ID) Clinic. The current, updated project will be a chart review of women 30-47 years that have had a PAP Smear and were negative for HPV. We will call and offer the HPV vaccine to them if they are interested.
The prostate cancer education program is related to informed decision-making to underserved men at the age of 40 and patients with a family history of prostate cancer; to drive the expansion of prostate cancer knowledge and awareness which can be harnessed to advance the treatment and prevention of prostate cancer; and to educate both health care providers and the public about this common malignancy.
The tobacco education and prevention program aims to reduce the prevalence and incidence of tobacco use by establishing smoking prevention and intervention programs which raise awareness among the general populations about the health risks associated with tobacco use.
The AmeriCorps VISTA Project aligns with the focus areas of Economic Opportunity, Healthy Futures & Environmental Stewardship. The VISTA Project will seek to improve the health and well-being of Arkansans, particularly those living in poverty, vulnerable populations, and those experiencing a substance use disorder. Eight VISTA members (including a team lead) will contribute to the goals of the project by performing activities such as strengthening a collaboration among those addressing the opioid epidemic, discovering avenues to combat tobacco abuse in rural communities over the course of five years, and building infrastructure to help low income communities navigate cancer care and social needs following diagnosis.