Hollings Cancer Center offers a wide variety of community-based educational programs for the public and disparities-related research for students interested in pursuing a career in cancer research.
Through hands-on laboratory rotations with some of the state’s leading cancer researchers to cancer awareness forums, the center is committed to addressing the state’s cancer burden from all angles. To further enhance these programs, Hollings Cancer Center has established partnerships throughout the state and joint research projects to expand the reach of our work, including statewide cancer education and training programs with regional minority-serving higher education institutions.
Funded by the National Cancer Institute and the Department of Defense, South Carolina Cancer Health Equity Consortium (SC CHEC) is an initiative between the Medical University of South Carolina, the University of South Carolina, Claflin University, South Carolina State University and Voorhees College.
This hands-on laboratory research training platform offers undergraduate juniors and seniors the opportunity to explore biomedical sciences and identify new approaches to cancer prevention, detection and treatment. Students are mentored by some of the nation’s leading cancer researchers at Hollings Cancer Center with the hope to engage a diverse generation of cancer researchers.
Offered to rising sophomores and juniors at Burke High School, South Carolina Continuing Umbrella of Research Experience (SC CURE) is a two-year program designed to stimulate and facilitate local students' interest in cancer and health disparities research.
The program allows underrepresented students to explore a career in biomedical cancer research through cancer-focused courses and enrichment activities. Students learn about cancer biology, epidemiology and health disparities while participating in a hands-on research rotation at the Hollings Cancer Center and cultural enrichment activities across the state.
Since 2007, HCC community health educators have conducted a statewide cancer education program called MOVENUP, using a “Train the Trainer” approach. This training covers cancer prevention, screening and treatment options and includes a module focused on clinical trials and their vital role in developing new, more effective approaches to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Upon successful completion of training, community leaders serve as ambassadors empowered to share helpful, evidence-based information with members of their communities. To date, MOVENUP has taken place in 12 counties in the state with small groups of about 20 trainees per event. The 433 trained study participants have conducted 104 educational sessions in their communities, reaching more than 4,000 additional people. There were 10 sessions in 2017, and another 10 sessions are scheduled for 2018.
For more than a decade, community health educators at Hollings Cancer Center have helped foster existing partnerships and established new ones to support, expand and sustain the center’s efforts to address cancer disparities. Community health educators are responsible for identifying and responding to the needs and assets of various medically underserved South Carolina communities and promoting the uptake of the latest advances in cancer health. To date, these community health educators have conducted nearly 50 events and provided cancer prevention, screening, and early detection education to more than 2,700 participants.
Recognizing that the majority of professionals in the cancer care and clinical research fields are non-Hispanic whites, Dr. Marvella Ford organized a cultural competency training program that she has delivered at various professional conferences and meetings. Ford is now training Hollings Cancer Center community health educators to deliver this training to clinical trial offices and oncology clinical staffing units across the state. The goal of the training is to equip clinical research associates, who are often on the front lines of identifying and enrolling participants to cancer research studies, with the cultural and contextual competencies required to engage people who have been historically disenfranchised by the health care system.