Cancer Center’s Community Health Advisor Program Receives $95K

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center (MBRCC) is the recipient of a $95,000 award from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to continue the development of grassroots Community Lay Health Advisor Programs across the state.  These funds will also support the implementation of evidenced-based community interventions in cancer prevention education, the development of appropriate training materials, training sessions, and the creation of easy-to-read cancer fact sheets.

Over the past six years, MBRCC has received substantial awards from the Benedum Foundation to underwrite community-based cancer education initiatives in 28 counties.  In 2004, the MBRCC adopted the lay health advisor model as the forum to further grassroots cancer prevention education efforts in rural communities. In eight counties, these advisors address issues from cervical, breast and ovarian cancer awareness to the importance of physical activity and nutrition for cancer prevention.  A lay health advisor program enhances the ability of individuals to help each other by providing support, advice and help. Community Lay Health Advisor Programs are an invaluable asset in communicating cancer issues, as the advisors are members of the community and understand the health problems and beliefs of their community.

Established in 1944 by Michael and Sarah Benedum, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation is an independent foundation intended to improve the social and economic conditions of all West Virginians.  This award allows rural communities to implement programs that have proven effective in helping people adopt healthier lifestyles and in building a sustainable infrastructure for dealing with many health problems at the local level.

For additional information, please contact Kim McCourt or Mary Ellen Conn at (304) 293-2370.

- WVU -

For more information:
Sherry Stoneking, Cancer Center, (304) 293-4599

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