Year of Publication



Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Robin Vanderpool, DrPH, CHES

Committee Member

Corrine Williams, ScD, MS

Committee Member

Mark Swanson, PhD


In response to the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) funding announcement, the Kentucky River District Health Department (KRDHD) proposes to implement an evidence-based cervical cancer prevention program in the Kentucky River Area Development District (KRADD) in southeastern Appalachian Kentucky. The proposed evidence-based program was part of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) “Public Health Approaches to Breast and Cervical Cancer” research initiative and is one of nine cervical cancer Research Tested Intervention Programs (RTIPs) on the NCI’s RTIP database. The Forsyth County Cancer Screening Project (FoCaS) was designed to improve the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors regarding breast and cervical cancer screening among low-income women. The original program will be culturally and logistically adapted for relevance and feasibility to our target community by members of the KRDHD program team, a local Community Advisory Board, and a University of Kentucky Public Health Associate Professor.

The incidence of HPV-mediated cervical cancer in the KRADD is nearly 1.75 times the national rate. The goals of this intervention include short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes. Short-term outcomes include increasing awareness and knowledge of cancer screening among KRADD women and healthcare providers, reducing barriers (systemic and cognitive) to screening, and improving the coordination of services following abnormal test results to follow-up care. An intended intermediate outcomes is an increase in uptake and adherence to guideline-recommended cervical cancer screening resulting in a decrease in screening disparities. Finally, the long-term outcome of this program is to eliminate all cervical cancer related disparities including incidence, morbidity, mortality in the KRADD region.

All project activities are coupled with an extensive evaluation plan and targeted local, state, and national dissemination strategies. KRDHD is well positioned through its experience, extensive network of partners and sustainable infrastructure to expand its programmatic offerings by implementing a wide-scale cervical cancer intervention program. KRDHD and its team of committed collaborators are poised to make meaningful increases in cancer survivorship, surveillance, and community-clinical linkages across the region to increase quality and duration of life among KRADD women.

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