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Keywords:

  • community health networks;
  • cancer health disparities;
  • Asian Americans;
  • community participation;
  • research;
  • training;
  • community outreach;
  • health service accessibility;
  • prevention and intervention;
  • program sustainability

Abstract

Asian Americans are the fastest growing and the second largest foreign-born ethnic group in the United States. Cancer is a leading cause of death among Asian Americans. The Asian Tobacco Education and Cancer Awareness Research (ATECAR) Special Population Network, Center for Asian Health, aimed to reduce or eliminate cancer health disparities in these diverse, underserved populations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and New York. The ATECAR logic model was adapted from a variety of conceptual frameworks to develop and implement the network's multifaceted cancer health disparities research, training, awareness, and outreach programs. The model was the basis for the developmental phases of the network that included (1) needs assessment, infrastructure, and partnership building; (2) intervention research, training, and mentorship; and (3) evaluation, dissemination, and diffusion. Community involvement occurred at every operational level to ensure program and network sustainability. Between 2000 and 2005, the ATECAR network consisted of 88 partners, representing a cross-section of Asian communities, academia, cancer centers, and health service agencies, ensuring a viable infrastructure for the network's multidimensional cancer health disparities programs. ATECAR's research covered tobacco control, cancer prevention and intervention, and clinical trials. More than 22 research projects were conducted and their results disseminated in peer-reviewed journals. ATECAR also trained 76 junior researchers and special population investigators and 1014 community professionals in disparity issues. ATECAR's multimedia cancer awareness education program reached over 116,000 Asians. The ATECAR network's achievements have had a profound impact on Asian Americans and established a trend toward reducing cancer health disparities, especially among underserved Asian Americans. Cancer 2006. © 2006 American Cancer Society.