The Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities (PECaD) at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine and Siteman Cancer Center hosted the 5th and 3rd “Smart Health: Cancer Community Education Day” on April 22, 2017 at Washington University School of Medicine and on June 17, 2017 at Southern Mission Missionary Baptist Church in East St. Louis, Illinois. Smart Health was created to provide our community partners with deeper learning opportunities related to cancer prevention and research, to use as a platform to report back on research results, and to educate individuals and families about research and its relevance. These events are designed to deliver intensive small group and one-on-one health education (consistent with Community Guide recommendations for increasing cancer screening) through small interactive workshops over the course of four hours. The workshop topics are jointly determined between community partners and PECaD’s Community Health Educator. This event, combined, impacted over 40 members from the surrounding community and metropolitan area.
At the most recent community education event, workshops included 8 ways to prevent cancer, cancer survivorship, a healthy cooking demonstration, exercise on a budget, and cancer screening recommendations. Our “Intro to Research” session provided an overview of research designs, questions to ask, and one-on-one discussions with a researcher. During the event, participants also had an opportunity to browse our research poster gallery that displayed research findings on specific cancer sites.
This year, we were extremely excited to open our doors to the community to host the event. We were also able to host the East St. Louis, Illinois, Smart Health event at a community church, which has sparked our momentum in developing new relationships with the faith-based community in the area. What was most exciting was that attendees had the opportunity to talk informally with doctors, facilitators and a host of vendors throughout the duration of the event. This provided a more intimate and comfortable environment for participants to ask questions that might not have been asked in an open setting.
PECaD would like to thank all of our presenters, panelist, vendors, and most of all, our community members, for attending Smart Health to teach and learn about cancer and ways to reduce cancer risks.