This report was written by Blue Walcer, MPH, a former board member of the Annie Appleseed Project.
"Blue Walcer, CARE Director (Cancer Awareness, Resources and Education), works to give patients a greater role in their health care and health care decisions. Ms. Walcer received her Bachelor's degree in Education and Social Justice and her Master's in Public Health in Community Health Education from the University of California, Berkeley.
Prior to her work with the CARE Program, Ms. Walcer was Director of Patient Education at San Francisco General Hospital and the Program Director for the National Youth Leadership Forum in Medicine in San Francisco, a program for high school students interested in pursuing medical careers".
The report is for her department and discusses issues from that perspective:
Cancer, Culture & Literacy conference, Clearwater, FLA, May 20 - May 22,
Beyond focus groups: The Use of Additional Types of Qualitative Research
Roberta Baer, PhD
This workshop focused on the use of qualitative methods, including
participant observation, key informant interviewing, kinship analysis, and
Relevance to San Francsico General Hospital's cancer education programs - This workshop, which was much
like an Anthropology 101 course, made me seriously consider incorporating
strategies such as keeping extensive field notes for the CARE and waiting
While we already conduct ongoing process evaluations, these
evaluations are fairly rudimentary, due to limited staff resources and time
constraints. I would like to encourage the med students with whom I work
(or work with a medical anthropology student) to augment the participant
observer role by keeping detailed fields notes.
These notes, like writing a
letter to a friend, would not only reflect what the students hear and
observe in the respective programs, but also record their own impressions of
Roundtable discussion: Medical Anthropology and Migration,
Nancy Burke, PhD,
UCSF Comp Cancer Center
This discussion focused on the relevance of medical anthropology and
ethnographic methods to the study of immigrant health issues, including the
design of effective interventions, study of doctor patient communication,
and identification of sociocultural issues related to cancer screening.
discussed the possibility of working with a medical anthropology student
with Dr. Burke. She suggested that I contact Filipe Bourgieu, Chair of
Medical Anthropology at UCSF, to further explore this possibility.
Roundtable discussion: Everything you wanted to know about the NCI grants
process and haven't gotten around to asking,
Sabra Wooley, NCI:
discussion of the challenges and opportunities in the process of obtaining
an NCI grant, with an emphasis on the behavioral/social science research
I will contact Ms. Wooley via email (who has worked frequently with
Rena Pasick) to explore NCI funding possibilities for CARE, etc.
Plenary: Marilyn Gaston, MD, Community Collaborations for Education,
Prevention, Early Diagnosis, Treatment, & Research.
CDC estimates that 48% of premature cancer deaths are preventable. Through
intensive education/screening programs, Contra Costa County has brought
disparities in terms of breast cancer staging to 0 in five years (way to go
Poster sessions of interest:
Arts in Medicine, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute has an
amazing program that includes a visual arts , music, storytelling and
poetry, expressive movement, performance workshops, open studio, labyrinth
(meditative walking) and art exhibitions.
The benefits to patients in terms
of relaxation and expression are undeniable.
The Moffitt Cancer Center has
7 paid staff who coordinate the program.
Cancer Education and Prevention through "Dia de La Mujer Latina."
Espinoza, PhD, (Colorado University) developed a health bingo game
(different from ACS's breast health bingo) for their very successful health
We are in email contact and Dr. Espinoza has promised to share the
game with me. I'm hoping that the game will be useful and appropriate for
the waiting room program and/or for a CARE activity.
Computer-based Cancer Education for Teens,
Cassandra Harris, MS, CHES, MD
Anderson Cancer Center.
This web-based program provides tools for teaching about cancer, nutrition,
exercise, tobacco awareness, and sun protection. I'm interested in seeing
what we can adapt for a waiting room presentation.
Overall impressions: It was great to be in an environment where cancer was
discussed in the context of culture and literacy.
Issues related to
cultural competence and health literacy have been extensively explored and
are not new to those of us whose professional activities have focused on
these areas for years.
We face tremendous challenges in promoting
screening/early detection to patients from cultural groups (African
American, Latino) with present time (as opposed to future time)
There remains a disconnect between the agenda and experience
of researchers and those who work directly with patients/clients.
At San Francisco General Hospital
we have a unique opportunity to combine research agendas with activities
that are of direct and immediate benefit to our patients.
The CARE program
in particular, already addresses health from both positive and ecological
(physical, mental, social well-being) perspectives.
At the conference, I
was not aware of any other cancer programs that combine education and
psychosocial support, as CARE does.
I would like to work with students to
more thoroughly document the experiences of participants in our cancer
Blue Walcer, MPH
San Francisco General Hospital
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