Roshan Bastani, professor in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, has received funding from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program to lead a three-year, $910,000 effort to implement and evaluate a program designed to increase colorectal cancer screening among underserved populations.
Colorectal cancer screening is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Screening has proven effectiveness in reducing mortality rates but continues to be underutilized, particularly among low income and ethnic minority groups and significantly so in California’s Latino communities. This disparity is urgent because Latinos are the fastest growing population in the nation and the largest ethnic group in California.
For this study, the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health are partnering with the Northeast Valley Health Corporation, a multi-site Federally Qualified Health Center that provides much needed health care to a uninsured or publically insured, low-income, primarily Latino population in Los Angeles County.
The researchers aim to increase colorectal cancer screening by working with physicians, staff and patients, as well as establishing clinic-level policies, procedures and practices. Approaches include training, clinical decision support and feedback for physicians and staff; system-level approaches focused on workflow changes; and patient-level approaches including culturally-tailored instructions, consultations with bilingual clinic staff, and text message reminders.
Bastani is also director of Disparities and Community Engagement at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and director of the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity. She is joined on the UCLA team by Alison Herrmann, Beth Glenn, Catherine Crespi and Dr. Fola May. The Northeast Valley Health Corporation team is led by Dr. Alicia Lwin, Dr. Christine Park and Debra Rosen.