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Grant Year 2017 Iowa Cancer Plan Full Implementation Grants

Iowa Cancer Plan Implementation Grants up to $25,000 were awarded to the following collaborative projects that address identified gaps in Iowa's cancer prevention and control efforts. Project period is July 1, 2016 - June 1, 2017.

All of Me: Prioritizing Sexual Health for Iowans Impacted by Cancer

Project Chair: Erin Sullivan Wagner, After Cancer: Solutions for Sexual Health,

The goal of this project is to improve the sexual health of Iowans impacted by cancer through increased public awareness and education and program implementation for oncology care providers. The target audience includes nurses, physicians, physician assistants, therapists and social workers. A website for care providers will incentivize education and the implementation of best practices. Half-day multidisciplinary conferences will be followed up with all-day site visits that will include facilitated practice taking sexual histories, train-the-trainer instruction, and meetings with clinic leadership to address barriers to implementation. 

Body & Soul Community Project

Project Chair: Paulette Clark, Mt. Zion Baptist Church,

The Body & Soul Community Project includes two components at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids. First, equipment is provided to enhance the reach of an adult fitness program. Weekly fitness classes will be held at the church, allowing the community to participate in group physical activity. The second component supports a youth community gardening initiative at the church, including the construction, growth and farming of community garden plots. This will allow youth the opportunity to participate in the local food systems process as a means to encourage eating fruits and vegetables to prevent chronic disease.

City of Dubuque's Raid on Radon

Project Chair: Mary Rose Corrigan, City of Dubuque Health Services Department, 

Four hundred forty nine Dubuque homes occupied by families that are low-to-moderate income are projected to receive financial assistance from a HUD Lead Hazard Control Grant and a Resiliency Grant. These homeowners are a “captive audience” to receive Radon test kits. Inspectors will already be slated to inspect and determine hazards in these properties. This project adds short-term Radon testing kits to the program and will identify a significant cancer risk factor that would not otherwise be identified in these properties. Any property identified with a high radon level from this activity will have a radon mitigation plan included as part of the comprehensive rehabilitation project. In addition, the City’s Rental Housing Inspection Program will offer free Radon testing to all units receiving a rental inspection, on a volunteer basis.

Get Fit for Life

Project Chair: Georgia Hodge, F.R.I.E.N.D.S.,

This project provides health education on the importance of increased physical activity and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables for African Americans in the Cedar Valley area, specifically targeting those who are economically disadvantaged. Activities will take place at local churches and include exercise classes, health presentations and cooking demonstrations.

Integrating Palliative Care into Comprehensive Cancer Care

Project Chair: Karen Van De Steeg, June E. Nylen Cancer Center,

This program builds on efforts in Iowa to expand palliative care awareness, its integration with oncology care, and its accessibility to cancer patients, specifically through improvement of quality care delivery and quality-of-life services. Project objectives include:
  • Distinguishing palliative care from hospice.
  • Identifying system processes and structures that support the delivery of palliative care into an oncology treatment plan.
  • Provide communication techniques to facilitate prognosis within palliative care and hospice.
A palliative care systems process and structure training will be presented by Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, a leader in palliative medicine. Medical students and oncology practitioners will also be invited to learn how to integrate palliative care into a cancer care program.  

Promoting HPV Evidence-based Practices through Integrated Training

Project Chair: Julie Baker, MPA, Iowa Primary Care Association,

The Iowa Primary Care Association will provide educational trainings to medical and dental providers regarding HPV and HPV-related cancers, specifically OPCSS, to increase awareness, screening, and vaccination within Iowa’s federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). Project coordinators will work with the Iowa Immunization Coalition and the University of Iowa College of Dentistry to identify two engaging subject matter experts to provide training to the FQHC medical and dental staff. Project partners will identify evidence-based provider and patient educational materials regarding HPV-related cancers and will work with identified subject matter experts to provide integrated HPV and HPV-related cancer training to medical/dental providers, dental hygienists and clinical staff (RN, LPN, CMA) to increase the knowledge and awareness around HPV and HPV-related cancers.

Rx for Radon

Project Chair: Gail Orcutt, Radon-induced lung cancer survivor, member/volunteer for the Iowa Cancer Consortium, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network,

Rx for Radon will increase radon testing in homes across Iowa through provider education and communication with patients. This shall be achieved through educational outreach on the health risks associated with radon, first with Iowa family practice physicians and pediatricians, and subsequently, with patients and their families. The project is comprised of two objectives:

1)      Conduct radon educational outreach with 15% of family practice physicians and pediatricians by January 31, 2017.
2)      75% of patients who ordered radon test kits will have conducted home tests and received results by May 15, 2017. 

SafeNetRx Cancer Medication Donation Program

Project Chair: Laura Sands, SafeNetRx,

This project increases access to oncology medications for uninsured or underinsured Iowans whose income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. The Iowa Drug Donation Repository, managed by SafeNetRx, provides free medications to Iowans who meet these criteria. Demand for cancer medications through the Repository far exceeds the supply of medications received. Through this project, SafeNetRx will collaborate with cancer centers within Iowa to increase the supply of cancer medications into the Repository so cancer medications can be provided to more safety net patients in Iowa. This is done through the placement of tamper-proof collection units at cancer centers. Patients and families who received treatment at the centers can donate unexpired cancer medication that have been prescribed but not used through these units. Donated medications are then processed and distributed through the Iowa Drug Donation Repository.    

School Radon Training and Support System Expansion Project

Project Chair: Julie Weisshaar, Energy Association of Iowa Schools,

The School Radon Training and Support System Expansion Project will provide matching grants to schools as an incentive to voluntarily receive radon education, training in development of a radon testing plan, test kits and assistance with mitigation (if necessary). Matching grant dollars will encourage ownership in the process, while helping schools work through their worries of the unknown and the cost of testing and potential mitigation. 

Sexual Dysfunction of Gynecologic Oncology Patients

Project Chair: David Bender, MD, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology,

This project aims to better understand and characterize the physical, psychological and social aspects of sexual dysfunction in women affected by endometrial, ovarian and early stage cervical cancers. The study aims to assess the efficacy of a 4% lidocaine solution in reducing physical sexual dysfunction. The primary objective of this prospective, randomized pilot study is to identify changes in sexual function assessments. Secondary objectives include characterizing the pre- and post-treatment functioning of gynecologic cancer survivors with respect to physical, psychological and social dimensions. Patients initially seen and scheduled for surgery at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for a suspected or proven diagnosis of ovarian, endometrial or early stage cervical cancer will be eligible for this trial.


Concept Grants


Cancer Caregiver Distress Screening

Project Chair: Melissa Wright, Gilda's Club of the Quad Cities,

Many caregivers experience poorer quality of life than the loved ones they care for. Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities currently screens cancer patients for distress, but recognizes the need to screen caregivers as well. Cancer Support Source Caregivers (CSS-Caregivers) is an electronic program that measures a caregiver's level of distress and how it effects their quality of life. It identifies the needs of the caregiver so referral to appropriate resources can take place. Gilda's Club hopes to screen 50 cancer caregivers using this tool - which is modeled on a similar tool for patient screening - over the course of the project.

Clinton County Radon Outreach 

Project Chair: Shane McClintock, Clinton County Public Health,

Clinton County will offer radon testing with private well water testing to increase the number of homes screened for radon in their communities. With newspaper advertisements to publicize this service, Clinton County aims to test 25% of homes for radon that also receive private well water testing.



InVisible / Fun in the Sun

Project Chair: Kripa Guram,

InVisible was created by a team of medical students from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine to better protect Iowa residents from the harmful effects of the sun. InVisible is a camera-based technology that works like a mirror, offering a visual-based solution to help parents and kids apply their sunscreen properly. The team hopes to develop prototypes that can be used at community pools across Iowa. The prototypes will be used to better educate parents and children on sun-safety behaviors. 

It's Your Skin, Iowa

Project Chair: Gina Mandernach, John Stoddard Cancer Center,

It’s Your Skin Iowa began as a collaborative effort in 2014 between John Stoddard Cancer Center, Mercy Cancer Center, and the American Cancer Society to educate high school students on the danger of tanning beds and the importance of sun-safety. High school students were encouraged to pledge not to tan on and an Instagram contest was available for students to share why they chose not to tan. In 2017, the project will expand to include outreach in Central and Eastern Iowa.



LGBTQ Risks & Cancer

Project Chair: Keenan Crow, One Iowa,

One Iowa is an organization that works to create full equality for LGBTQ individuals in Iowa through grassroots efforts and education. They recognize that LGBTQ folks are at a disproportionate risk for a variety of cancers, and will provide education on cancer prevention at the Spring 2017 LGBTQ Health and Wellness Conference.


Operation HPV Awareness

Project Chair: Stephanie Shields, Clarke County Public Health, 

Clarke County Public Health will host a teen clinic with incentives for completion of the HPV vaccine. Local providers will be asked to promote the teen clinic by educating teens and parents about the importance of the vaccine. A screening of “Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic” will also be shown to further educate the community

Gaps in Care Experienced by Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Patients

Project Chair: Erin Mobley,

The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital and the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center have partnered to develop an Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer program to address the unique needs of patients ages 13-31. Project collaborators will use data collected from focus groups to identify and address gaps in care for cancer in the the AYA population.

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