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Community Champion Partnerships Program

Through the Center for Community Engagement and Health Equity's Community Champion Partnerships, Smilow is collaborating with established community-based organizations to identify and address patients’ critical unmet health-related social needs. Patient's from structurally marginalized communities often have contributing factors beyond cancer that significantly affect their health and access to treatment: food insecurity, housing instability, and lack of transportation, to name a few. The goal of these partnerships is to connect patients with food banks and other vital resources by trusted members of their community and in turn, they refer anyone in their social service practice area back for care, screening, or prevention services. One of the two pilot partners in the program, the Community Action Agency of New Haven (CAANH), has a mission to offer pathways to prosperity to those in poverty in the Greater New Haven area. Agency on Aging of South Central CT is also a community champion organization.

Some of the initiatives currently underway are looking to accomplish the following:
  • Promote universal screening for unmet health-related social needs documented through the Unite Us platform and Epic to facilitate data repository for research
  • Promote cancer screening & prevention activities in communities through bidirectional partnership
  • Provide lay language research summaries and outreach
  • Provide lay language summaries of research findings that are community-reviewed, both in English and Spanish
  • Expansion of biorepository samples for women and racial or ethnic minorities that are underrepresented nationally, exacerbating health inequities