Office of Health Disparities Research

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May 18th, 2015

Tribal Collaboration Proposes Research on Colorectal Cancer Screening

By Sumedha Penheiter

OHDR’s Native American Research Outreach (NARO) team recently visited the Red Lake and White Earth reservations in Minnesota to facilitate preliminary data collection for a community-based participatory research (CBPR) proposal that has since been submitted by the two tribes, the Indian Health Service (IHS) and Mayo Clinic. The proposed project intends to increase colorectal cancer screening participation.

Emma Leof awaits first survey participant at Red Lake IHS Hospital

Emma Leof, Mayo Clinic, awaits her first survey participant in the entryway of Red Lake IHS Hospital

Three Mayo representatives and a contract liaison employed by one of the tribes conducted surveys at each tribe’s IHS facility and at one tribal senior living facility. The team also delivered surveys to IHS health care providers.

The goal was to collect 40 community surveys from each reservation, but community willingness to participate was so high that the teams collected 89 surveys in one and a half days. IHS providers returned an additional 16 surveys.  Thanks to the community members and providers who participated, and to the NARO team, the tribes and Mayo Clinic successfully submitted their R01 grant proposal to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on May 4, 2015.

About the proposed research

The proposed study will explore multiple avenues for increasing colorectal cancer screening participation on the two reservations. Native Americans in the Plains and Alaska have higher rates of death from colorectal cancer than do members of the general U.S. population. Finding the cancer at an early stage may help improve the chance of survival.
Corinna Sabaque, Mayo Clinic, prepares a receipt for a survey participant at the White Earth Health Center

Corinna Sabaque, Mayo Clinic, prepares a receipt for a survey participant at the White Earth Health Center

Tags: colorectal cancer, Dr Wesley Petersen, health disparities, Indian Health Service, Minnesota news, Native American, News, Red Lake Nation, White Earth Nation

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