University of Illinois Cancer Center Mission:
To provide all Illinoisans access to cutting edge prevention and screening programs, the latest treatments, and innovative clinical trials to promote community health through targeted educational and community engagement programs designed to prevent and cure cancer.
As a community-focused Cancer Center, the University of Illinois Office of Community Engagement and Outreach is deeply committed to residents of our local communities, particularly those that are medically underserved. We are keenly aware of the disparities that exist among minority and ethnic populations when it comes to cancer risk, prevention and treatment. Whether it is access to care, clinical trials, cancer screening, information about preventative behaviors, or genetic profiling, members of our team are embeded in our communities to study, communicate and provide support to alleviate the unequal burden that cancer poses to our constituents. This is done through an evidence-based approach to community engagement, meaning that our team carefully investigates the needs of our community members and develops services based on those needs. Patients are then navigated to those services to ensure positive health outcomes. These outcomes benefit the patient via the care that they are receiving.
This manner of service to the community is not without the assistance of strategic partnerships and relationships we have with local and national community and health organizations, non-profits, and public health administrations. These relationships offer a wealth of resources for medical and social support, financial and legal assistance, spiritual guidance, and in some cases, just another outlet for our patients to be surrounded by someone also on the cancer journey. They may be our stakeholders, they may be our peers, and they may be our comrades. Our goal is to take these partnerships and relationships, with the addition of our wealth of research and interventions, and merge them with our primary care network. The ultimate outcome is an ambulatory network of primary and specialized healthcare that is approachable, accessible, and affordable.
The Office of Community Engagement and Outreach collaborates with a variety of departments and colleges within the University of Illinois. This enables the most accurate collection of data to investigate each part of the community that is served. This facilitates that patients are aware of clinical trials opportunities and have access to the cancer care that is so desperately needed. This ensures that research continues with the updated technology.