Community-based participatory strategies are a promising approach to addressing disparities in community health outcomes. This paper details the efforts of Siteman Cancer Center to achieve breast health equity over the past 15+ years. We begin by describing the activities and successes arising from our breast health community partnerships including identifying priorities, developing recommendations, and implementing patient navigation services to advance breast health. This system-wide coordinated navigation approach that includes primary and specialty care providers helped to increase potential impact on reducing breast health disparities by expediting care, increasing care efficiency, and standardizing referral procedures across systems for all women including those who are uninsured and underinsured. We also discuss a mobile mammography unit that has been deployed to serve women living in both urban and rural regions. The van reached a particularly vulnerable population that was mostly poor, uninsured, and with limited educational backgrounds regardless of their zip code of service. This work shows that collaborations between academic and community partners have resulted in decreased late stage at diagnosis and improved access to mammography. Furthermore, we offer lessons learned and recommendations that may be applicable to other communities.
- breast cancer
- community-based participatory research
- health disparities
- mobile mammography