DETROIT, Nov. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute was recognized by the Michigan Cancer Consortium with the 2014 Spirit of Collaboration Award for its Jewish Women's Health Project; and also received an Honorable Mention for its Harley Men's Health Event.
The Spirit of Collaboration Award is the highest honor the Michigan Cancer Consortium presents to member organizations, recognizing outstanding collaborative work that significantly moves cancer prevention and control activities forward in Michigan. The award presentation took place this month during the Michigan Cancer Consortium's annual meeting in Lansing.
Karmanos Cancer Institute's Jewish Women's Health Project is a collaboration of the Council of Orthodox Rabbis, the Women's Orthodox League, The Jewish Fund, Jewish Family Service, The Jewish Community Center of Oak Park, and Kids Kicking Cancer. The purpose of the program is to better understand and help prevent the genetic risk factor of the BRCA I and II genes among Orthodox Jews.
Genetic research documents a high prevalence of the BRCA I and II and APC (anedomatous polyposis coli) genes among Ashkenazi (i.e. European) Jewish women. Mutations in these genes place carriers at a significantly greater risk for breast, ovarian, pancreatic, colorectal, and other cancers. In a pilot study using census tract and Detroit Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) data, Principal Investigator Rifky Tkatch, Ph.D., post doctorate fellow, Department of Oncology, Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University, along with her colleagues, found that Orthodox Jewish women have higher rates of breast cancer than the general population. This project uses a community based participatory research approach to address the specific cancer issues among Orthodox Jewish women to develop and pilot a cancer education program.
Last year, a community cancer-related health survey was developed and mailed to 450 randomly selected women, of which 260 women responded to the anonymous survey. The education program that was developed is a religious-based, cancer-related health education program. Collaborating partners were involved in the development of the program and its being delivered by community members.
In the first four months, over 100 women contacted the research staff to participate in the program. The collaborating partners assisted in recruitment to the program. To date, 60 women have completed the education program with incredibly positive feedback.
"Receiving this recognition means a lot to Karmanos and our partners because it signifies we have collaboratively made a significant step toward cancer prevention and control for the Orthodox Jewish community," said Dr. Tkatch. "We invite others in the Orthodox community to help encourage participation so that generations to come may have a better chance of surviving cancer."
"We are so pleased to have this opportunity to shine the light on partnerships that truly are making a difference in cancer prevention and control in their communities," said Susan Hoppough, Ph.D., RN, of Mercy Health and co-chair of the Michigan Cancer Consortium. "The Jewish Women's Health Project serves notice that when communities work together, cancer prevention goals can be achieved."
Karmanos Cancer Institute also received an Honorable Mention for its Harley Men's Health Event, a collaborative project with Wolverine Harley Davidson that has for the past three years helped to increase awareness and access to recommended cancer screenings for an underserved population in Michigan. During the event, participants not only have access to cancer screenings, they also have the opportunity to engage with healthcare providers in a non-clinical atmosphere.
In the past three years, the event has reached 530 community members. Twenty-one participants have become active community patient advocates for Karmanos Cancer Institute. The advocate program is championed by Elisabeth Heath, M.D., director, Prostate Cancer Research at Karmanos Cancer Institute and professor of Oncology and Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine; and Laura Zubeck, RN, director of Patient and Community Education. The program provides training and opportunities for advocates to attend community events where they help educate men and their spouses on age-based screening recommendations to encourage early detection. As a result, within the first six months of 2014, members of the advocacy program reached 1,740 individuals at their places of worship, work and leisure, encouraging men to be proactive in their health and treatment plans.
"The Karmanos Cancer Institute is grateful to be recognized by the Michigan Cancer Consortium for its collaborative programs that are making an impact in the cancer fight," said Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO, Karmanos Cancer Institute. "I'm honored to work side-by-side with the incredibly dedicated, talented and compassionate team at Karmanos. The Spirit of Collaboration Award represents the importance of working together to achieve the results necessary to help move us closer to ending this disease. It will take all of us to make that happen."
About the Michigan Cancer Consortium
The Michigan Cancer Consortium is a statewide, broad-based partnership that strives to include all interested public and private organizations and provides a forum for collaboration (communication, coordination, and the sharing of resources) to reduce the burden of cancer among the citizens of Michigan by achieving the Consortium's research-based and results-oriented cancer prevention and control priorities. Every year since 2001, the Michigan Cancer Consortium has presented its highest honor — the Spirit of Collaboration Award — to member organizations that have done outstanding collaborative work to significantly move comprehensive cancer control activities forward in our state.
About the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Located in mid-town Detroit, Michigan, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, a subsidiary of McLaren Health Care, is one of 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Karmanos is among the nation's best cancer centers. Through the commitment of 1,000 staff, including nearly 300 physicians and researchers on faculty at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and supported by thousands of volunteer and financial donors, Karmanos strives to prevent, detect and eradicate all forms of cancer. Its long-term partnership with the WSU School of Medicine enhances the collaboration of critical research and academics related to cancer care. Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., is the Institute's president and chief executive officer. For more information call 1-800-KARMANOS or go to www.karmanos.org.
SOURCE Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute