Office of Community Outreach & Engagement

What is the Office of Community Outreach & Engagement (COE)?

While COE was officially established in 2019, the CU Cancer Center has been deeply involved in advocacy, education, outreach, engagement, and community-engaged research for 37 years. As a vital part of the CU Cancer Center, COE actively advances the center’s plan, aiming to improve health equity and outcomes for every Coloradan.

We’re on a mission to make a positive impact in Colorado communities! We’re not just about cancer – we team up with other CU Cancer Center units to improve education, outreach, early intervention, research, and advocacy throughout the state. Our initiatives are designed with you in mind: identifying emerging concerns, expanding access to care and research, improving access to screenings, and advocating for policy changes. 

Our Mission

To provide strategic direction and planning for the CU Cancer Center to conduct catchment-focused activities and research that reduces the cancer burden in Colorado. 

Our Vision and Aims

To reduce Colorado’s cancer burden, risk, and disparities through the CU Cancer Center’s scientific, clinical, and community outreach and engagement endeavors. To achieve our mission and vision, COE has three aims:

  1. Monitor and disseminate up-to-date data on the cancer burden, risks, and disparities in the catchment (Colorado). 
  2. Facilitate community-engaged research across scientific programs and clinical trials. 
  3. Engage communities in dissemination and implementation of interventions in cancer prevention, control, and survivorship.

What We Do

In simple terms, COE is actively involved in making a positive impact on cancer-related issues. We collaborate with CU Cancer Center teams on strategic initiatives focused on preventing cancer, early detection, and supporting survivors. Our goal is to engage communities in research, especially those facing disparities.

We work by providing high-quality, evidence-based interventions like patient navigation and resources such as education and screenings where they are needed. COE acts as a bridge between the CU Cancer Center and the communities it serves, aiming to enhance the center’s impact on reducing Colorado’s overall cancer burden.

Our community partnerships and programs are geared towards identifying and addressing barriers to cancer health equity in underserved areas across Colorado, both urban and rural. Together with various organizations, we:

  • Identify needs and emerging concerns regarding cancer incidence and survival throughout the state. 
  • Expand awareness and improve access to cancer services, treatment and clinical trials. 
  • Provide up-to-date information and community-based screening programs to reduce cancer risk and increase early detection. 
  • Identify the social and economic challenges in underserved areas of the state that limit access to state-of-the-art cancer care. 
  • Develop educational resources to improve health decision making to decrease cancer risk. 
  • Advocate for public policy changes to ease the burden of cancer. 
  • Support healthy lifestyle changes to reduce cancer risk. 

Basically, COE and the CU Cancer Center are on a mission to create a healthier, more equitable future for all Coloradans by addressing various aspects of cancer care and prevention.

Community Advisory Council

The Community Advisory Council of the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement is here to make a difference. Our aim is to close the health disparities gap and reduce incidence and mortality rates from cancer and other diseases. How? By connecting with folks from across Colorado.

We’re not just here – we’re actively engaging with community members to improve knowledge about cancer risk factors, screening services, and treatment options. Our goal is to work together, especially with underrepresented communities, to identify and tackle inequities. By doing so, we help scientists and clinicians discover and apply new knowledge to support at-risk communities.

The more we learn, the better equipped we are to cater to the unique needs of different communities, ultimately reducing health disparities. This effort is about creating a healthier, more-informed community where everyone has access to the knowledge and resources needed for their best, healthiest lives.

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