Big Bend AHEC: Breast Cancer Update 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States and the second most common cause of cancer death in women ages 40-55 (Hartman & Loprinzi, 2012).  According to the National Cancer Institute, Florida’s death rates for cancer are falling.  However, when you look at the rates for the rural counties in Florida, the death rates remain the same or are rising.  This is one reason why we feel it is important to integrate continuing education as a program component.  More than 90% of our service area is rural.  Educating rural providers can be one way to improve cancer disparities.

The Big Bend AHEC Cancer Education Program encourages women at risk of breast cancer to reduce cancer risk by changing modifiable risk factors and to initiate conversations with their healthcare provider about risk and screening options.  Feedback from our clients indicated some providers lack confidence to answer questions about breast cancer.  To address this issue, we are planning lunch and learn programs for nurses, social workers, and other health care professionals.  The program will be accredited for continuing education and provide updated clinical guidelines regarding breast cancer, including epidemiology, risk factors, prevention strategies, screening, signs and symptoms, treatment options, patient navigation, and survivorship concerns specific to the breast cancer patient.

Libby's Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation: Cancer Screening Initiative 

Libby’s Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation (Libby’s Legacy) is a leading provider of comprehensive Breast Health Services for the uninsured and underinsured in Central Florida. Through a grant from the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation and in partnership with the Women’s Center of Radiology (WCR), Libby’s Legacy will host a series of lunch and learn programs to help educate local healthcare providers and community partners about our Cancer Screening Initiative (CSI) program, advancements made in the breast health imaging industry, and updates on Women’s Health issues. These programs are ideal for local health care providers and community organizations that routinely provide referrals for mammograms. Doctors, nurses, referral coordinators and medical records personnel are invited to attend. Though these programs, we strive to further develop our referral network and be able to more successfully assist those in need of breast health services in the most timely and effective manner. Florida Breast Cancer Foundation has made this possible with the Provider “PEP Talk” program.

Miami-Dade Area Health Education Center, Inc: Guidelines and Standards Breast Cancer Screening, Pre-operative Patient Education, Role of Breast Cancer Navigators, Developing a Survivorship Program for Breast Cancer Patients 

Miami-Dade Area Health Education Center (AHEC), Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to improve access to quality, comprehensive health care and education for the underserved, uninsured, economically needy and other vulnerable individuals throughout Miami-Dade County through academic community partnerships. AHEC will develop and implement a series of “Lunch and Learns” on four topics to advance the mission of the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation. The programs will offer CME / CEU credits to qualified health professionals. Guidelines and Standards for Breast Cancer Screening: Understand and distinguish the modalities for screening for breast cancer, identify breast cancer risks, and the steps for working up a breast abnormality. Pre-Operative Patient Education: Learn how to develop and identify educational needs of patients undergoing surgery and develop preoperative instructions, Understand how to improve self-care education for patients undergoing breast cancer surgery. Role of Breast Cancer Navigators: Understand how to help guide the patient through the breast cancer treatment continuumLearn how to track the impact of navigation on the timeliness of care. Developing a Survivorship Program for Breast Cancer Patients: Understand standards for the development of a survivorship care plan.

Memorial Foundation: Training the Trainer 

Through “Training the Trainer: Breast Education Strategies in Treatment (BEST) Program”, the Memorial Cancer Institute (MCI) will assist oncology nurses to incorporate culturally sensitive breast cancer education, patient navigation and treatment services for patients, survivors and their families.  The BEST Program will emphasize psychosocial education, prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment while offering strategies for a Survivorship Program.

In conjunction with 4 oncology certified nursing (OCN) chapters in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, MCI’s Director of Breast Cancer Research, who is certified in both oncology and breast cancer care, will deliver this program to oncology nurses who are direct care for breast cancer patients throughout South Florida.

The BEST Program will provide the tools that assist oncology nurses focus on the physical, mental and emotional aspects of managing breast cancer in their patients.  This enhanced knowledge will result in increased screening for breast cancer, a formalized approach to the surveillance of those at high risk for breast cancer, improved health outcomes and additional education, interventions and support for patients with cancer and those in survivorship.  As members of local OCN chapters, the nurses will then disseminate these evidence-based approaches with their work environment.

North Broward Hospital District, d/b/a Broward Health: Emotional Distress in Screening, Genetic Testing and New Techniques, Prevention, Early Intervention, Cultural Diversity, Survivorship 

Broward Health in collaboration with Gilda’s Club South Florida will provide five “Dinner and Discovery” training sessions for healthcare professionals working in the field of breast cancer.  These sessions will provide training on how to better understand and incorporate patient navigation and treatment services in providing prevention, screening, treatment, diagnosis, psychosocial education, culturally sensitive breast health education regarding LGBT population, survivorship, and palliative care.  Sessions will be held at the Gilda’s Club South Florida Clubhouse located in downtown Fort Lauderdale.  “Dinner and Discovery” sessions will be marketed through advertisements, fliers, e-mails, and other awareness and educational materials distributed by Broward Healtgh and Gilda’s Club to physicians, physicians assistants, nurses, social workers and other healthcare professionals who work with breast cancer.  A broad range of speakers has been secured, each with outstanding credentials and extensive experience and expertise in their field.  Topics for the five sessions are 1. Emotional Distress in Screening and How to Intervene with the Patient, 2. Genetic Testing and New Techniques for Early Detection and the Impact on Treatment Related Decisions, 3. Prevention, Early Intervention, and Palliative Care, 4. Cultural Diversity and the LGBT Population, 5. Survivorship and Late Effects.


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