The Texas Cancer Plan was evaluated as a model of capacity and sustainability able to be implemented in other states of the country through a study conducted at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health. The research focused on state cancer control programs’ evaluation to improve the nationally developed and implemented practices.
The study entitled “Promoting Public Health through State Cancer Control Plans: A Review of Capacity and Sustainability” was recently published at the Frontiers in Public Health journal. It was led by investigators from the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN), who studied 40 state cancer prevention plans supported by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), revealing the importance of detailed methodologies and strategies to increase funding and community engagement.
The report concluded that only half of the state plans have a community capacity without detailed specification of roles and responsibilities, timelines for action and measurements for evaluation. In addition, despite the fact that nearly all programs were focused on sustainability, there were few details on the implementation of strategies. The Texas Cancer Plan, on the other hand, comprised intensive details concerning community participation, capital, resources, gaining and implementing funding.
“It is essential that state cancer control plans specifically identify how states will incorporate community involvement, allocate organizational resources, and leverage existing community capital to establish credibility and legitimacy,“ stated the lead author the study, Marcia Ory, PhD, who also serves as Regents and Distinguished Professor at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, in a press release.
“Plans must address both community capacity building and sustainability in a concrete and realistic manner to assure the success of the important work being undertaken by cancer control and prevention agencies,” added Dr. Ory, as researchers believe that the study’s conclusions may help to increase attention to crucial requisites for the implementation and success of these plans.
“The initial Texas Cancer Plan was published in 1986, making Texas one of the first states to have a state cancer plan. Texas’ plans are designed to engage stakeholders and their communities from plan initiation through implementation of goals and objectives for cancer control,” explained study co-author and Cancer Alliance of Texas member, Deborah Vollmer Dahlke, Dr. PH, who worked in collaboration with Cathy Melvin, PhD, an affiliate of the University of North Carolina CPCRN, and Brigid Sanner, in addition to Dr. Ory.
The researchers believe that the Texas Cancer Plan can be used as a model for other plans in the country, highlighting the data resultant from the study can improve programs’ design to better serve communities.