Colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality and morbidity rates among African Americans are higher than any other racial and ethnic group in the United States (ACS, 2014; CDC, 2014). The incidence rate is 23 percent higher in African-American men and 22 percent higher in African-American women, respectively, when compared to Caucasian men and women (DeSantis, Naishadham, & Jemal, 2013). In a state-by-state comparison of CRC incidence rates among African Americans in the United States, Kansas (54.0) and Missouri (53.3) are higher when compared to CRC incidence rates in the Midwest (47.9) and in the country (45.5) (US Cancer Statistics Working Group, 2015).
Faith Works – Connecting for a Healthy Community (FWCFHC) is a diverse partnership team comprised of cancer screening eligible and cancer surgery patients, church leaders and members, pastors, and researchers. The group became engaged in addressing cancer disparities in the bi-state area in 2011. Because of the prevalence of CRC among African Americans in the region and the lack of awareness and knowledge of this disease, FWCFHC is partnering to use the influence and social capital of church and community networks to strengthen health promotion around this cancer disparity. The group aims to build effective communication strategies and practices and evaluate the process for a future comparative effectiveness research project that will improve patient outcomes among African Americans.