Redes En Acción Celebrates 5th Anniversary

Moderator, Kenneth C. Chu, PhD, Chief Disparities Research Branch, NCI and SPN Panelists (l-r) Moon S. Chen, Jr., PhD; Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH; and Stephen Wyatt, DMD.
Moderator, Kenneth C. Chu, PhD, Chief Disparities Research Branch, NCI and SPN Panelists (l-r) Moon S. Chen, Jr., PhD; Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH; and Stephen Wyatt, DMD.

March 4, 2005. Redes En Acción celebrated a major milestone -- its fifth anniversary -- with the recent 5th Annual National Steering Committee Meeting, attracting about 70 participants, including several National Cancer Institute (NCI) leaders and other cancer health authorities.

"This meeting provided us an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the Redes En Acción achievements of the past five years as an NCI Special Populations Networks initiative and look ahead to future opportunities for continuing our momentum and exploring new and exciting collaborative partnerships," said Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, Redes En Acción Principal Investigator.

"We certainly can take pride in the excellent progress Redes En Acción has made with regard to Latino cancer research, training and awareness, and it's extremely important that we maintain the focus on these vital issues."

Among highlights of the conference was a presentation by Mark S. Clanton, MD, MPH, Deputy Director, NCI, for Cancer Care Delivery Systems, addressing the changes in cancer treatment and care stemming from technological advances. NCI has expanded its focus in examining health care delivery systems in the overall context of "discovery, development and delivery," he said.

Delivery of care is a vital tied to the entire host of related issues, including access to care, economics of care, information systems and dissemination, quality of care, and clinical trials -- "the system is interactive," he emphasized. As advances in discovery and development occur, he said, systems for delivery of cancer care must keep pace with "technology changes in prediction, detection and treatment."

The meeting's speakers also included Garth Graham, MD, MPH, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Minority Health; Holly L. Howe, PhD, Executive Director of the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries; and Elena Rios, MD, President of the National Hispanic Medical Association.

A panel of NCI leaders was composed of Mary Anne Bright, RN, MN, Associate Director of the Cancer Information Service; Diana D. Jeffery, PhD, Project Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship; and Lenora E. Johnson, MPH, Director of the Office of Education and Special Initiatives.

A second panel, discussing potential collaborative projects among the major SPNs, included Moon S. Chen, Jr., PhD, of the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research & Training, and Stephen Wyatt, DMD, of the Appalachia Cancer Network (see photo at top of page).


Other panel discussions included principal investigators of eight of the 16 pilot research projects funded by NCI through Redes En Acción and three of the 131 junior faculty, pre/post doctoral candidates and student interns who have benefited from the initiative's training program over the past five years.

A major sponsor of the annual meeting, for the fifth year in a row, was the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, which has provided support for several Redes En Acción projects over the years.

What Is Redes En Acción? Redes En Acción is a major NCI-supported initiative to combat cancer among Latinos through a nationwide network of community-based organizations, research institutions, government health agencies and the public. Core activities include promoting cancer training and research opportunities for Latino students and researchers, generating research projects on key Latino cancer issues, and supporting cancer awareness activities within the Latino community.

The initiative is coordinated by the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and San Antonio, with regional network centers in San Antonio, New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and San Diego.