Williams receives Prevent Cancer Foundation grant to increase lung cancer awareness among high-risk populations in Mississippi

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Assistant Professor Michelle S. Williams will create two online training programs: (1) To train community health workers to implement a lung cancer screening awareness program and (2) To educate high-risk populations about prevention for the disease.

Dr. Michelle S. Williams

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women in the United States. Lung cancer death rates are highest in Deep South states, such as Mississippi. When lung cancer is detected at early stages, people have a much greater chance of surviving than when it is detected at late stages. However, the number of people in the United States who get yearly lung cancer screenings is very low, and there are few community-based lung cancer screening awareness programs.

Assistant Professor Michelle S. Williams received a $100,000 grant from the Prevent Cancer Foundation to conduct a project aimed at increasing awareness about lung cancer risk factors, lung cancer screening and smoking cessation in Mississippi communities with elevated lung cancer death rates.

“We will use a community-based participatory research approach to develop, implement, and evaluate a multicomponent cancer education intervention,” said Williams.

The multicomponent, population-specific, evidence- and theory-based lung cancer awareness intervention will include lung cancer education sessions led by community health workers (CHW), a website with resources to help community members locate clinics that offer lung cancer screening, and text messages to reinforce the importance of quitting smoking and getting lung cancer screenings. The team will use the Project ECHO model to develop the CHW training program. In addition, Williams will work with Federally Qualified Health Centers to reach the target populations.

"The results of this project will be used to help us develop a grant proposal aimed at conducting a more rigorous assessment of the effectiveness of the intervention,” said Williams.