Dr. Cheryl Holt, associate professor of behavioral and community health in the University of Maryland School of Public Health in College Park, has been awarded a grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for $124,964 as a supplement to the funding for the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore. Dr. Holt co-leads the Greenebaum Cancer Center’s Cancer Control and Population Science Program, which is focused on issues of cancer epidemiology, behavioral science, and health disparities, along with Dr. Joanne Dorgan, professor of epidemiology and public health (University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore).
The grant supports a new project that Dr. Holt will lead to train community health advisors to conduct cancer education activities in Baltimore City, an area of the University of Greenebaum Cancer Center (UMGCC) catchment area that has been identified as a great-need area.
The program will use community-engaged methods to identify priority topics and strategies in cancer education and outreach. Dr. Holt plans to align the CHE activities with UMGCC priorities, particularly as they relate to the catchment area in Baltimore City.
The CHE approach has been found to be well-suited and consistent with the focus of Population Science program — which brings together a wide range of expertise including cancer disparities reduction, tobacco control, molecular epidemiology, and behavioral science — in reducing cancer disparities; and with Dr. Holt’s ongoing CHE work in Prince George’s County, MD.
CHEs aim to enhance the NCI’s health disparities research efforts through local and culturally tailored outreach in historically underserved communities. They also seek to enhance the NCI’s ability to distribute culturally appropriate, research-based cancer information to underserved communities; and adapt and test culturally tailored education/outreach activities that address local and regional cancer health disparities issues. Dr. Holt’s programs have trained and certified over 60 CHEs working in Prince George’s County, supported by NCI and American Cancer Society research grants.