The Redes Report, a 6-page Redes program publication has been produced and distributed quarterly since the inception of the program. The newsletter disseminates relevant and helpful information about cancer issues and "role models" engaged in research and professional and public education related to those Latino cancer issues. The newsletter also keeps Redes partners - and potential partners - informed of program activities.
As the process of identifying and prioritizing Latino cancer issues reaches completion, the newsletter editorial content will be able to provide information more specifically focusing on those issues. With development of the Redes web site, electronic files of current and past newsletters are available for viewing and downloading to anyone with access to the Internet. This offers wider dissemination of materials and information offered by Redes En Acción, expands readership and makes better use of Redes resources.
Redes En Acción had produced and distributed more than 350,000 copies of the newsletter detailing the initiative's Latino cancer awareness, research and training efforts around the country.
To augment the quarterly e-newsletter, Redes En Acción issues monthly E-Alerts with short blurbs that offer timely information on a range of topics (e.g., new RFAs, reports, publications, pertinent Web sites, training opportunities, collaboration opportunities, etc.), typically with links to other Web sites that offer information in greater detail. The concept for the E-Alerts is as a vehicle for "news you can use" with regard to Latinos and cancer, and items are regional or national in scope.
Regional Network Center staffs around the country have raised awareness of the program and its objectives, particularly in the area of Latino cancer education, in more than 3,000 regional and local community events. These events included health fairs, children's anti-smoking campaigns, breast cancer awareness efforts, and participation at neighborhood health centers and school events. In addition, at some events RNC staff have given informal talks and presentations, typically in small-group sessions with children, parents and other interested audiences.
Professional Presentations / Conferences
Another avenue for promoting program goals and activities has been through professional presentations and conferences. Redes investigators have given more than 1,000 presentations promoting the program at national, regional and area conferences and meetings and an additional 60 clinical trials educational presentations to various community organizations around the country. These conferences have included the Intercultural Cancer Council Biennial Symposium, American Public Health Association, Y-Me National Bilingual Conference on Breast Cancer, National Network of Latin American Medical Students Leadership, National Hispanic Medical Association Annual Conference, Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools, Inc. Faculty Research Symposium, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Annual National Cancer Control Conference, the NCI Cancer Control Academy, and the First Annual National Latino Alcohol and Tobacco Leadership Conference.
The Redes En Acción web site incorporates several components and serves multiple purposes, offering features that promote interaction and support among the regional centers, researchers, students, community-based organizations, and members of the media and public. The site's "user friendly" format enhances the potential for prospective audiences.
The site includes current guidelines for individuals interested in the Redes En Acción pilot research project and training programs, audio and video public service announcements (PSAs), the newsletter and other publications, as well as information on other cancer research, training and awareness activities.
Public Service Announcement Campaigns
The national public service announcement (PSA) campaign promotes Latino cancer study participation. As part of its cancer public awareness campaign targeting Latinos, Redes En Acción has produced a series of television and radio spots educating the public about clinical trials and encouraging participation. A series of 30-second television spots and radio spots in English and Spanish were aired on Univision and other broadcast outlets nationwide. The spots were developed with input from the Cancer Information Service, who also helped with the distribution, evaluation and monitoring of the media campaign. Print PSAs were distributed to newspapers in major cities and to Spanish-language newspapers and magazines.
The Redes En Acción team also developed six additional public service announcements and a new Latino health Web site and blog, SaludToday, in 2009, all to promote healthier lifestyles among Latinos. The site, www.SaludToday.com, features a blog about Latino cancer, obesity and health disparities, as well as videos, role model stories and the capability for people to share their own success stories, from beating cancer to quitting smoking. The SaludToday blog also feeds social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The six PSAs, which can be viewed via the SaludToday or Redes Web sites, inform Latinos about the importance of early screening in detecting cancer. The PSAs were funded by the National Cancer Institute, through Redes En Acción (Grant No. U01 CA114657), and were distributed to TV stations across the country. "Latinos are at a disadvantage when it comes to being in good health, so we wanted to raise awareness about disparities and prompt behavioral changes to improve Latino health," said Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
The multi-pronged public communication program, aimed at multiple audiences, also included press releases announcing the Redes En Acción initiative in English- and Spanish-language media. In addition, interviews with program leaders have been included in numerous newspaper, television, radio and Internet media stories about Redes. In addition to members of the media, audiences for these public communication activities included the lay public, cancer researchers, physicians and other health care personnel, educators, health communicators, and community-based organizations.