Understanding the Issues: How to Use Community Assessment, Evidence, and Theory to Inform Your Cancer Control Approaches

Successful cancer control strategies are grounded in evidence and informed by a clear understanding of contributing factors and community contexts. In the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance on Cancer Plans, Comprehensive Cancer Control programs are encouraged to select strategies that have clear justification and are based in evidence.  

How do you find and collect evidence about communities, health issues, and intervention strategies? What steps can you take to develop a rigorous understanding of your health issues and communities of interest? How can you apply information from community assessments to select approaches and develop health goals and objectives? How can theoretical frameworks help organize your evidence and inform your strategies?

Join us for presentations and interactive Q&A with THREE experts from the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN): Dr. Jennifer Leeman, Dr. Cam Escoffery, and Dr. Patricia Mullen, three of the brains behind CPCRN’s “Putting Public Health Evidence in Action Training Workshop.” Mentors and mentees from GW Cancer Institute’s Mentorship Program on evidence-based communication will also be in attendance.

Learning objectives:

  • Discuss how community assessment can improve processes for selecting, adapting, and evaluating an evidence-based approach
  • Know what types of questions to answer using community assessment
  • Identify sources of secondary and primary data at multiple levels of determinants
  • Develop health goals and behavioral/environmental objectives based on community assessment data
  • Consider appropriate theoretical frameworks for a communications project
  • Find evidence-based resources on strategies or approaches, programs and policies

Note: Registration is mandatory for participation. The event will be capped at 15 participants.


Dr. Cam Escoffery

Dr. Cam Escoffery is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at the Rollins School of Public Health.  She has a PhD in Health Promotion and Behavior with an emphasis in Instructional Technology.  She has conducted research for over 18 years on health promotion, cancer prevention and control, health technology and media, and dissemination and implementation research.  She has served as PI on grants funded by the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Healthcare Georgia Foundation. She has published widely on various topics in health promotion, dissemination and implementation and cancer research, including on translation of evidence-based interventions, capacity building for adoption of evidence-based practices, cancer screening, and epilepsy self-management.

Dr. Jennifer Leeman

Dr. Jennifer Leeman is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and principal investigator of UNC's Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network Center. She conducts research on the best ways to disseminate evidence-based interventions, with a focus on interventions to promote healthy eating and physical activity and prevent tobacco use. 




Dr. Patricia Mullen

Dr. Patricia Mullen is a professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research. Her research interests include health promotion for disadvantaged or incarcerated women, transtheoretical model of behavior change, contraception and STD/HIV risk reduction, informed decision making for cancer and other screening tests, patient education, evaluation methods, systematic review and meta-analysis.