Community Guide Use
The St. James-Santee Family Health Center used The Guide to Community Preventive Services
(The Community Guide) to implement a breast and cervical cancer screening promotion program, which increased Pap smear and mammogram rates by 10% and decreased missed appointment rates by 30%. Click the PDF icon to download the full text of this Community Guide
In September 2008, St. James-Santee Family Health Center used The Community Guide to select empirically-based interventions for a breast and cervical cancer screening promotion program in African American communities. This was made possible with Legacy grant funding through the Southeastern US Collaborative Center in the Elimination of Health Disparities. The program was implemented through the outreach department of the health center, and used the following client-oriented, provider-oriented, and community-wide interventions: client reminders, client incentives, group education, provider prompts, and social marketing. Morehouse School of Medicine introduced the St. James-Santee Family Health Center to The Community Guide.
At the conclusion of the two-year project, Pap smear and mammogram rates had increased by 10% and women in local churches continue to maintain screening behaviors. Based on this success, the health center used client reminders and incentives to address missed appointment rates at four of its locations, which lead to a 30% decrease in missed appointments in six months.
St. James-Santee Family Health Center conducted cancer education workshops at community-based organizations and now, two new community projects are underway using interventions outlined at the workshops:
- Local African Methodist Episcopal church, a partner from Black Corals, applied for grant funds to implement a cancer screening promotion project using reminders, incentives, social marketing, and group education.
- A grassroots group of African American women formed Oatland Community Outreach group, which conducted the first breast cancer survivors' charity walk and cookout in October 2010 (the founder of this group attended a Black Corals workshop).
Resulting Changes in Practice
Based on their Community Guide use, St. James-Santee Family Health Center adopted two new policies for primary care programs:
- Nurse visits: "Quick visits" with nursing staff to shorten wait times for patients with chronic diseases. Visits are free and act as an incentive for patients with diabetes and/or hypertension to adhere to medical regimens.
- Nurse case management services: Assist women with mammograms, Pap smears, and self-management of chronic diseases. The nurse case manager is currently growing a community garden with staff, patients, and community residents to promote consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, physical activity, and wellness within the community.
Partnerships and Collaborations
Black Corals was a collaborative effort with the Medical University of South Carolina Hollings Cancer Center, Georgetown Memorial Hospital, American Cancer Society, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, BG's Beauty Salon, Buckshot's Restaurant (modified their menu to include entrees with less saturated fat), Lincoln High School, and churches across three counties. The health center’s involvement with cancer screening also resulted in an invitation to join the Coastal Center Collaborative, which improves educational efforts, increases awareness, and builds advocacy to reduce cancer mortality in coastal South Carolina. The health center organized the first cancer disparities conference with the Collaborative last year and plans to implement another community-wide event this year.