Community-Academic Partnership to Implement a Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Education Program in Puerto Rico

Vivian Colón-López, Daisy González, Camille Vélez, Natalie Fernández-Espada, Alana Feldman-Soler, Kelly Ayala-Escobar, Alelí M. Ayala-Marín, Marievelisse Soto-Salgado, William A. Calo, Angela Pattatucci-Aragón, Marinilda Rivera-Díaz, María E. Fernández


Objective: To describe how a community-academic partnership between Taller Salud Inc., a community-based organization, and the Puerto Rico Community Cancer Control Outreach Program of the University of Puerto Rico was crucial in the adaptation and implementation of Cultivando La Salud (CLS), an evidencebased educational outreach program designed to increase breast and cervical cancer screening among Hispanic women living in Puerto Rico. This collaboration facilitated the review and adaptation of the CLS intervention to improve cultural appropriateness, relevance, and acceptability for Puerto Rican women. Methods: A total of 25 interviewers and 12 Lay Health Workers (LHWs) were recruited and trained to deliver the program. The interviewers recruited women who were non-adherent to recommended screening guidelines for both breast and cervical cancer. LHWs then provided one-on-one education using the adapted CLS materials. Results: A total of 444 women were recruited and 48% of them were educated through this collaborative effort. Conclusion: Our main accomplishment was establishing the academic-community partnership to implement the CLS program. Nevertheless, in order to promote better collaborations with our community partners, it is important to carefully delineate and establish clear roles and shared responsibilities for each partner for the successful execution of research activities, taking into consideration the community’s needs.


Lay Health Worker (LHW); evidence-based intervention; community-based participatory research (CBPR); Puerto Rico; Breast and Cervical Cancer

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Published by the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus
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