Background: Improving the health of African-American men continues to be a public health priority in the United States. African-American men suffer disproportionately higher rates of mortality and morbidity from diseases including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Engaging African-American men, who are an underrepresented group in clinical trials research, in health research is imperative to reducing health disparities.
Proposed Solution to the Problem: In collaboration with the Men in Black and Blue Fighting Prostate Cancer (MIBB), the project team’s solution will engage African-American males, from rural Mississippi Delta tri-county (Carroll, Leflore, and Montgomery counties) communities and critical stakeholders (healthcare providers, churches, and male social organizations), in training and activities to increase research capacity for and community engagement in patient-centered outcomes research.
Objectives: The overall aim of this project is to increase research capacity and patient engagement in the rural Mississippi Delta to improve the representation of African-American males in health research. The long-term goal is to develop a centralized MIBB network and sustainability plan toward the ultimate goal (beyond this award) of developing and submitting a patient-centered outcomes research proposal.
Activities: Activities include the stakeholder expansion of the Tri-County Male Health and Wellness Initiative to serve as a steering committee to identify shared and patient-centered health research objectives and outcomes, engage and expand MIBB membership of the tri-county chapters, as well as expand MIBB chapters to a fourth county, train MIBB leaders/members in research, and host a capstone summit to disseminate outcomes and best practices for community engagement.
Outcomes and Outputs (projected): To expand stakeholder engagement and bolster community research capacity, projected outcomes/outputs include:
- A new MIBB chapter and expanded MIBB enrollment of existing chapters with over 260 enrolled members.
- A piloted community research program with 20 trained MIBB along with corresponding training manuals/curriculum and research capacity measures/data.
- Stakeholder/community engagement to be reflected by meeting minutes, agendas, and attendance as well as those outputs for a capstone summit event.
- Established patient-centered research objectives and outcomes as evidenced by meeting minutes and capstone summit materials.
Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: MIBB presidents and vice presidents, predominantly African-American males, will participate in monthly project leadership meetings and quarterly steering committee meetings, along with key personnel and other identified and secured stakeholders. Community members will be engaged through MIBB-hosted and MIBB-led health outreach events to enroll MIBB members and create togetherness and an opportunity for health discussion among males. All stakeholders and community members will participate in a capstone summit as a dissemination and culminating event for the project.
Project Collaborators: This project is conducted in collaboration with the MIBB, the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), Founder of Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation and Director of the USM Mississippi Network for Cancer Control and Prevention (Freddie White Johnson), rural Mississippi Delta churches, healthcare providers/organizations, and male social organizations.