The Center for Cancer Prevention and Control Research (CPCR) undertakes activities to strengthen its ties to local governmental health departments and community-based agencies in the dissemination of cancer-related information, community capacity-building and the enhancement of community-partnered research efforts. These activities reach out to underserved low-income and ethnic minority communities and encourage their participation and involvement in setting research priorities.
A significant portion of the CPCR’s outreach and capacity building activities are carried out through The UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity (the Center), which is physically housed within the CPCR. The Center works to eliminate health inequities in communities throughout Los Angeles County and across the United States. The Center catalyzes advancements in cancer prevention and treatment with proactive population-based health interventions to address health inequalities. Our work begins with engaging community partners to identify their greatest needs and continues with training local organizations to lead the interventions themselves.
This approach ensures that the skills needed to improve the overall well-being of populations stay in the communities long after the intervention program is completed. Programs led by the Center are broadly collaborative, leveraging both community residents and community assets—from promotoras (community health workers) to churches—to be certain that interventions address the right issues and reach the right people. While many research centers focus only on identifying and describing our nation’s greatest health disparities, this “center without walls” engages academia, government, non-profit organizations and community partners in order to improve health across the lifespan.
The Center’s vision is to achieve health equity as an essential characteristic of a society that values the health of all its members. This is based in a belief that all individuals should have the opportunity to attain the highest level of health and access to health care regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, education, economic status, sexual identity or disability status. The Center strives to achieve this vision of health equity by developing, implementing, evaluating and disseminating effective and efficient strategies to address inequities. The focus is on leveraging community assets to implement sustainable policy, systems and environmental change approaches executed in close collaboration with partners from a broad range of societal sectors including health care, education, government, business and civil society.
Examples of recent community-partnered projects include: a walkability assessment to aid physical activity promotion efforts in Pacoima, CA; an assessment of HPV vaccine uptake by patients’ of Federally Qualified Health Centers in Ventura, CA; observational study of physical activity and nutrition in Los Angeles Universal Preschool sites; workshop-style training series in the use of evidence-based programs for Los Angeles County Department of Public Health staff.