ASTHO Launches Updated Breast Cancer Disparities Online Toolkit, Demonstrates How Public Health Agencies are Laboratories for Change Equipped to Address Breast Cancer Disparities
The relaunch of the Breast Cancer Disparities Online Toolkit provides a coordinated guide of recommendations to operationalize best practice interventions by mobilizing data resources more effectively to address disparities in breast cancer mortality. Public health agencies are the laboratories for community and state-level change. The updated toolkit structures the content informed by a multi-state learning collaborative across four phases: describing/understanding the burden of the problem, performing data collection, integrating a quality improvement model, and initiating and sustaining the effective implementation of evidence-based interventions. The toolkit outlines actionable methods to increase statewide capacity for effective data collection and analysis, coordinated stakeholder engagement, and sustainable implementation and evaluation. It is important to note that the phases outlined in the toolkit are not suggestions for a particularly chronological order to undergo this work because health systems across different communities are often at different stages of readiness. However, what the toolkit emphasizes is that this process is more cyclical in structure, ongoing and often involves revisiting some previously adopted policies and protocols to make necessary adjustments that will further increase early detection and screening, reduce the follow-up time between screening and diagnosis, and improve the quality of breast cancer treatment for all regardless of socioeconomic differences. Embedded throughout the toolkit are elements of health systems change, data-driven transformation and geospatial analysis. The purpose of the toolkit is to provide resources on identifying, measuring, and addressing breast cancer disparities, and is designed to provide state and local health departments, as well as other breast cancer stakeholders such as cancer registries, healthcare providers, and healthcare payers, with a comprehensive roadmap for how to work toward health equity by reducing disparities in breast cancer mortality. The ASTHO Breast Cancer Online Toolkit is made possible by collaborative partnership and funding support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division for Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC) and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD). Visit the online toolkit at http://www.astho.org/BreastCancer.aspx.
The toolkit includes:
- A set of phases to operationalize best practice interventions and mobilize data resources to address health disparities in breast cancer mortality and advance health equity in local health departments,
- Recommendations public health agencies can reference to advance their current practice toward addressing breast cancer mortality,
- 15+ case studies from public health agencies that describe how they advanced systems change, stakeholders that supported the work, and lessons learned to advise others, and
- 80+ resources from allied organizations and others who support the breast cancer care continuum.