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Dr. Maher El-Masri
2015 Progress Report (2014 Grant)

Posted on: January 19th, 2016
Dr. Maher El-Masri

Dr. Maher El-Masri

Dr. Maher El-Masri

Faculty of Nursing, University of Windsor

Exploring the impact of implementing a community-based outreach and navigation cancer prevention and screening program on the uptake of cancer screening in immigrant communities

>Click for Project Overview

Co-Investigators and Collaborators:

  • Ms. Neelu Sehgal, Integrated Cancer Screening, ESC Regional Cancer Program
  • Prof. Jason Kiernan, Faculty of Nursing, University of Windsor
  • Ms. Marla Jackson, Integrated Cancer Screening, ESC Regional Cancer Program
  • Dr. Ahmed Chaker, Windsor Medical Centre
  • EVIDENCE OF PROGRESS

    The purpose of this project is to raise awareness of colorectal, breast, and cervical cancer, while guiding new immigrants in Windsor through their recommended cancer screening tests. The project has two primary goals. First, it aims to provide relevant information regarding the importance of cancer screening among underserved communities in Windsor, particularly the Arabic speaking community. Secondly, through Healthy Bodies Healthy Souls, the team seeks to gather empirical data that may shed light on the primary factors that affect an immigrant patient’s decision to screen for cancer, and the various barriers that may exist in doing so.

    The project encompasses four aspects: community outreach, one-on-one patient navigation, involvement with primary care clinics, and engagement with Ontario cancer screening programs. To date, the project team has tracked and continues to monitor screening uptake at local clinic Windsor Medical Centre (using Screening Activity Reports), continuously hosts various community educational sessions raising awareness and recruiting eligible participants and ensures patients who complete screenings receive adequate follow-up and treatment.

    This has required networking with various community centres around the city to determine individuals who are overdue for cancer screening, and recruiting willing participants to the study through organizations such as Windsor’s local chapter of the YMCA, the Multicultural Canadian Council (MCC), Al-Hijra Mosque, Dominion Mosque, Rose City Islamic Centre (RCIC), and Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women (W5).

    Over the past six months, the following activities were completed:

  • A total of 13 community based educational/recruitment sessions have been held, with a total of 259 participants from the target population
  • 431 individuals have been identified as being under/never screened within the primary care physicians’ rosters. 167 have been contacted to participate in the program
  • 66 individuals have completed the baseline participant survey
  • 25 individuals have participated in Navigation and completed the recommended cancer screening tests
  • The goals of the program for the upcoming 2015/2016 year are as follow:

  • Continue recruitment of participants to study
  • Continue screening target patients at Windsor Medical Centre
  • Organize monthly “clinic days” for men and women, where a physician will offer the necessary screenings for all patients.
  • Host “health days” for men and women at various community centres (see mentioned above)
  • Our goal is to provide education opportunities to as many people as possible and to successfully navigate over 200 individuals through the appropriate cancer screening programs.

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