Community Focus and Prevention

The Division of Public Health Sciences makes it a priority to share its disease prevention and health communication research findings with the public. This dedication to community engagement has resulted in several platforms to keep people and communities in the St. Louis region and beyond aware of ways they can stay healthy and prevent disease.

Community Outreach At A Glance

  • What’s your disease risk? Go to the Your Disease Risk website to take a short survey and receive research-based results that outline your personal risk for developing five of the most significant diseases in the United States and get personalized tips for preventing them.
  • Division of Public Health Sciences researchers, public health experts and community activists are coming together to reduce local and regional disparities in cancer education, prevention and treatment. Learn more about the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center’s Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities (PECaD). See information about the Photovoice project, how it includes community members, and helps continue PECaD's mission.
  • The Cancer News In Context blog tackles popular news stories about cancer prevention and screening and leaves readers with a big-picture outlook and important key messages about preventing cancer.
  • Division of Public Health Sciences researchers have helped to create evidence-based prevention messaging to reduce the risk of common cancers. The 8ight Ways brochures help inform the public about reducing their risk of cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and how to stay healthy after cancer. 
  • Division of Public Health Sciences and PECaD have partnered with MindsEye Radio and LAMP to create health-related podcasts. Listen and learn about upcoming podcasts.
  • Infographics on cancer prevention strategies have also been developed for community education and awareness. Community members are welcome to use any of the developed infographics to help spread cancer prevention messages. Visit the website for more information. 
  • Through the PBS documentary, A World Without Cancer, Dr. Graham Colditz discusses cancer prevention techniques through lifestyle changes alongside other prevention experts. 
  • In a project through the St. Louis Regional Health Commission, division faculty members are teaming up with Breakfast Club, Inc. in St. Louis to find ways to increase the number of mammograms among women who are rarely or have never been screened for breast cancer. Learn more about this St. Louis Community/University Health Research Partnership.

Health Disparities 
Health disparities are preventable differences in health outcomes that disproportionately affect socially disadvantaged populations. Examples of health disparities include different disease diagnosis and progression, injury, or access to quality care among varying populations. These populations may be characterized by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic position, gender, geographic location, sexual orientation, or a wide variety of other factors. Health disparities are the result of unequal distribution of resources, both historically and currently. Populations that are most affected lack access to equal opportunities. To reduce disparities, we must work towards equal distribution of knowledge and resources across social groups with the goal of improving each person’s quality of life.

To learn more about health disparities, please visit the following websites: