Poughkeepsie...County Executive William R. Steinhaus and the Dutchess County Comprehensive Cancer Control Consortium have announced the Comprehensive Cancer Control Needs Assessment is now available on the County website at http://www.dutchessny.gov/.
The Comprehensive Cancer Control Consortium worked with JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. to conduct a needs assessment of cancer prevention, screening, treatment, and support services in Dutchess County in order to form the basis for development of a Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan for the County.
“This assessment provides valuable information to serve as our roadmap to build a plan to reduce the burden and hardship of cancer on the residents of Dutchess County,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “We are grateful to the combined effort of the cancer survivors, healthcare providers, and those most vulnerable to health crises who have helped to provide this overview of the cancer-related services available here in our county.”
Comprehensive Cancer Control is a unique community-based concept that engages non-traditional health allies such as businesses, insurance industry, academia, media and other partners. Dutchess County is the only county in New York State to assign resources to this national and state model.
The Dutchess County Comprehensive Cancer Control Planning initiative was launched in September 2006 to respond locally to issues related to cancer. “Through this planning initiative, Dutchess County has already begun to share information and resources to better promote cancer prevention, improve cancer detection, and increase access to health and social services,” noted Commissioner of Health Michael C. Caldwell, MD, MPH. “Our combined efforts will help reduce cancer risks, detect cancers earlier, improve treatment and enhance quality of life for those affected by this disease.”
The purpose of the assessment was to provide baseline information about the current strengths, challenges, and concerns of Dutchess County residents facing a cancer diagnosis; develop a resource inventory of services available to support comprehensive cancer control in Dutchess County and lay the groundwork for the development of a local plan.
Information for the assessment was gathered through stakeholder interviews and through focus groups of community health workers and consumers (and potential consumers) of cancer services. A profile of the cancer burden in Dutchess County was developed and a resource inventory was created outlining the cancer control resources in the county and providing information about their adequacy now and in the immediate future.
The findings of the assessment identified three main themes for the Consortium to focus on in the development of the Dutchess County Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan:
• Information and education are critical in the prevention and early detection of cancer and in the provision of high quality care. The level of knowledge about preventive measures, screenings, support services and treatment varies significantly among different groups of people.
• Access to care and disparities, referring to the unequal burden of cancer, particularly among racial and ethnic minorities and people lacking adequate health insurance. Literacy and language barriers heighten disparities in the use of various cancer services.
• Quality of care, relating to concerns that available services are not perceived as client-centered. The assessment showed there was agreement services for the treatment of cancer had greatly improved in recent years, however, gaps in services still exist and delivery of services could be improved to better meet the needs of residents facing a diagnosis of cancer.
The Needs Assessment is available online at http://www.dutchessny.gov/. Click on the Comprehensive Cancer Control button for more information about Dutchess County Comprehensive Cancer Control and to visit the Consortium’s website http://www.cancerfreedutchess.net/.
“The needs assessment offers high quality cancer data to help educate the families of our community about what cancer control options are available to them. It provides us a strong foundation to develop our Dutchess County Comprehensive Cancer Plan and ensure meaningful progress in our efforts to become a cancer free county,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.