ABOUT THIS EPISODE
Jan Eberth, of the University of South Carolina, is examining cancer screening accessibility in the U.S. and its impact on patient-level outcomes. She uses geospatial approaches and focuses in part on rural communities.
Jesse Nodora, of the University of California, San Diego, works closely with community health centers and aims to promote health at the individual, provider, and system level.
1:45 – On how they would describe their work to researchers in other fields:
(Eberth) “I study how processes and facets of the health care system and specific health policies impact patients who are at risk for or diagnosed with cancer…In my research I use a database of all colonoscopies that were completed in our state over a 15-year period. We link that information with our state cancer registry to help us learn more about…whether the geographic access that patients have to care is impacting their clinical outcome.”
(Nodora) “The work that I do really focuses on what I would label multi-level health promotion, specifically focused on increasing cancer screening…The multi-level part really is about addressing individual/patient level, provider team, and leadership/clinic administration level barriers and needs.”
5:25 – On the most important unanswered questions in their fields:
(Nodora) “How can law and policymakers work in partnership with researchers and other public servants to make the most equitable and impactful decisions? Often in our society, many of the high-level decisions that are made are not made for the public’s good or public health. They’re made for profit, or they’re made for the bottom line, and that is reflected in lobbying.”
(Eberth) “There have been studies that look at national- and state-level capacity, but there’s a lot less research that has looked at local-level capacity. It’s important to know where we’re losing access over time to important treatment services and screening services, so we can think about what solutions there are to halt those trends. And those might include things like: use of telehealth, use of mid-level providers, offering mobile clinics, and changing staffing patterns and credentialing requirements.”
13:40 – How they would describe their work to a colorectal cancer patient or survivor:
(Eberth) “Right now where you live, how much money you make, what type of insurance you have—it does dictate, unfortunately, where people get care and the type of care they get. To me that’s unacceptable…My research aims to find out where inequities exist—and find out why they exist—so that policymakers, clinicians, and public health practitioners can develop the types of programs and policies that are needed to address those issues directly.”
(Nodora) “The goal of what I’m trying to do at all levels–patient, provider, and system levels–at the end of the day it’s all about, for poor and underserved patients at community health centers, how do you increase those colorectal cancer screening rates?”
20:25 – The challenges of community-academic partnerships:
(Nodora) “Any kind of relationship is about trust. You want to start real early; develop the relationships, develop the trust, and basically listen to them… The one thing that there’s a real disconnect on is how long discovery takes. You want to impress upon your partners that you’re in it for the long haul.”
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