ince 2003 , the National Cancer Institute has
S awarded over $ 14 million to support the collaborative efforts of the University of Hawai ‘ i Cancer Center and the University of Guam through the Pacific Island Partnership for Cancer Health Equity ( PIPCHE ). PIPCHE aims to reduce the impact of cancer on Pacific Islanders in Hawai ‘ i , Guam , and the U . S . Affiliated Pacific Islands . Funds from the grant have been used to develop and maintain the research infrastructure , provide research training for students and early-career scientists , and engage communities in outreach activities to advance knowledge , awareness , behavior change , and public health .
The UH Cancer Center ’ s Community Outreach Core ( COC ), a subset of PIPCHE , was formed to liaise between researchers , community partners , and the communities they serve . The long-term goal of the COC is to reduce barriers leading to cancer disparities to achieve health equity , partly by assisting in community-based participatory and community engagement strategies .
“ Our outreach work highlights Pacific Islander population healthcare seeking behaviors , which often considers the community or family as a paramount part of their overall health ,” said Mark Willingham , Jr ., Community Health Educator with the UH Cancer Center ’ s Community Outreach Core . “ Providing clinicians with knowledge of Pacific Islander population-focused cultural perspectives and identifying ways to help meet the challenges they face in seeking care is just part of our efforts to improve health equity for this group .”
The training exemplifies the use of cultural competency concepts in medical offices , professions , and organizations . It covers linguistically appropriate services and Pacific Islander culture , values , beliefs , and perspectives on healthcare .
One of the COC ’ s initiatives addresses the cultural gap between physicians and their Pacific Islander patients . Cultural competency is the ability to understand , interact , and work well with people of different cultures and ensure quality in health care among different cultural groups .
In 2022 , the COC designed a cultural competency training , “ Improving Quality of Health Care Through Cultural Competency and Understanding Cultural Differences ” for healthcare providers and staff . Training was conducted at Federally Qualified Health Centers including those located in Waikīkī and Wahiawā .
Mark Willingham , Jr ., MS 7