It was a triple play for community engagement and outreach at Fiesta del Sol last week, as multiple teams took advantage of the events to connect with residents served by the University of Illinois Cancer Center.
The Cancer Center’s Community Engagement and Health Equity team had the opportunity to conduct outreach and provide cancer prevention education in the Pilsen neighborhood. The CEHE team completed nearly 160 health needs assessments. Meanwhile, the ChicagoCHEC team was also on hand to provide resources and information to festival goers.
In addition to the needs assessments, the team was able to connect with 171 community members to provide education and resources about breast, cervical cancer/HPV and colon cancer. Navigators will be following up with 30 community members who requested support for cancer screenings.
Cancer Center Director Jan Kitajewski joined the team on Friday, discussing the importance of cancer screening with community members. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot surprised the group with a visit to the booth on Saturday. The Cancer Center was one of the sponsors of the event.
Piggybacking on that sponsorship, the NIH-RADx study team recruited 100 festival goers for COVID testing and information about vaccination. Participants received nasal swab tests, a $15 incentive and educational materials about the importance of COVID testing and vaccination. The NIH-RADx study is focused on expanding COVID diagnostics and addressing testing and vaccine hesitancy.