Anissa Vines is a professor in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a CCP small grant recipient working in Caswell County.
Upon receiving the grant award, the Carolina Community Network (CCN) has been working diligently to prepare for the implementation of Prostate Cancer Ambassadors for Caswell County (described here). Prostate Cancer Ambassadors for Caswell County is an exploratory project to build local community capacity for addressing prostate cancer disparities through research and education. It will involve recruiting 20-25 volunteers from the Cedar Grove Baptist Association, an association of 55 local African-American churches, to perform community health assessments throughout the county. The project will utilize an existing prostate cancer curriculum developed through the NC Institute for Minority Economic Development to increase community members’ knowledge of prostate cancer and research skills in assessing the cancer health needs and resources in the community. The ultimate goal of the project is to identify research needs and to formulate research questions that can inform a larger research project in continued collaboration with community partners in Caswell County.
Since previous UNC research collaborations have taken place in the county, CCN staff took time to talk with those investigators to gain insight into how best to engage members of the community in research & to learn about their experiences in building community collaborations in Caswell County. In addition to the faculty, staff at the Caswell County Health Department has been very helpful in working with the Network to identify potential members in the community for the project’s community-academic research steering committee. Identified members will receive an invitation to become part of the steering committee, which will help provide advice and guidance on the planning and implementation of the project.
The project is also in the process of hiring a graduate research assistant to assist with all aspects of the project. IRB approval has been obtained for the project.