Community Outreach and Engagement

The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC) is dedicated to serving the cancer-related needs of Vermont and New Hampshire (our 'catchment area') through excellent clinical care, cutting-edge research, and our Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) initiative.

Through our COE initiative, we focus on reducing the burden of cancer in Vermont and New Hampshire—especially in our most rural communities. By engaging with community members, we aim to ensure that our research reflects the needs of the community.

Many communities in New Hampshire and Vermont are rural, and research shows that people living in rural areas are at greater risk from cancer than people living in urban areas. For example:

  • People living in rural areas are more likely to get cervical, colorectal, oropharyngeal (mouth/throat) and lung cancers.1
  • Rural areas have higher rates of death caused by cancer, and the rate is increasing.1
  • People living in rural areas are also more likely to smoke, less likely to get the HPV vaccine, and less likely to be screened for colorectal cancer—all of which increases the chance of getting cancer.1,2
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NH VT Urban Rural Map

NCCC's Community Outreach and Engagement initiative

NCCC's COE initiative is serving our community with the following three aims in mind:

  1. Identify, measure, and monitor the cancer control needs and cancer health equity issues throughout the catchment area through engagement of a community advisory board; observational studies; and surveillance of health system, state, and national data.
  2. Address the cancer control needs and cancer health equity issues of our catchment area through community-engaged interventions, increased participation in clinical trials, and regional collaborations—with an emphasis on rural and underserved populations.
  3. Promote cancer research findings from NCCC's four scientific programs across the cancer control continuum for translation into sustainable policy, program, and health system enhancements.

Contact us

To contact the COE team, please email NCCC.Community.Outreach@dartmouth.edu. To reach specific team members, please visit our team member page.

Faculty leadership

Judy Rees, BM, BCh, PhD, MPH
Associate Director of Community Outreach and Engagement
Judith.R.Rees@dartmouth.edu

Dr. Rees is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology for the Geisel School of Medicine and the Director of the New Hampshire Cancer Registry. Her research interests include the analysis and interpretation of local and population-based registry data and the development of data infrastructures that can be used by researchers. In her role as NCCC’s Associate Director of Community Outreach and Engagement, Dr. Rees leads the COE team to ensure the cancer-related needs of our New Hampshire and Vermont catchment area are identified and addressed through research, outreach, and engagement.

Ardis Olson, MD
Primary Care Liaison
Ardis.L.Olson@dartmouth.edu

Dr. Olson is a Professor of Pediatrics and of Community and Family Medicine and has been involved in preventive health research activities in Vermont and New Hampshire for over 20 years. She has experience conducting research with community-based primary care practices as well as conducting studies in rural parts of the NCCC catchment area. Dr. Olson chairs our Primary Care Advisory Panel as they identify opportunities to engage primary care providers in our cancer research and outreach activities.

Citations

  1. Henley SJ, Anderson RN, Thomas CC, Massetti GM, Peaker B, Richardson LC. Invasive Cancer Incidence, 2004-2013, and Deaths, 2006-2015, in Nonmetropolitan and Metropolitan Counties - United States. Morbidity and mortality weekly report. Surveillance summaries. Jul 7 2017;66(14):1-13.
  2. Walker TY, Elam-Evans LD, Singleton JA, et al. National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13-17 Years - United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. Aug 25 2017;66(33):874-882.