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UICC World Cancer Congress 2006

Bridging the Gap: Transforming Knowledge into Action

July 8-12, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Tuesday, 11 July 2006 - 3:30 PM

Translating Workforce Competency into Actions to Assure Surge Capacity in Cancer Care

Maureen Y. Lichtveld, MD, MPH, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2100, New Orleans, LA 70112, Kristine M. Gebbie, DrPH, RN, School of Nursing, Columbia University, 630 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, Elizabeth Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH, National Association of Social Workers, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4241, and Alison P. Smith, BA, BSN, RN, C-Change, 1776 Eye Street NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20006.

Objective: Shortages in the health workforce across disciplines critical to the delivery of cancer care are currently serious and anticipated to worsen in the future. In 2003, C-Change initiated building a “National Cancer Corps” to create immediate surge capacity in the cancer workforce. Defining core competencies in cancer care is a pivotal strategy to bolster the skills and knowledge of the general health workforce to meet the needs of patients with cancer.

Methods: Core competency programs have proven an effective strategy in building surge capacity by creating common knowledge, language, and skills. Mirroring successful projects in disaster preparedness and public health, C-Change implemented a collaborative process with a multi-disciplinary national expert panel and consultants from Columbia University. Drawing upon existing literature, the Expert Panel engaged in a Delphi process to refine the competency statements across the continuum of care - from prevention and early detection to treatment to palliative care and survivorship. Additional revisions were secured through national oncology professional societies. The curriculum to teach and validation tools to test the competencies were developed as was a national dissemination plan.

Results: Research conducted by C-Change and its partners resulted in a national core competency program for the delivery of comprehensive cancer care. Web-based dissemination will accelerate surge capacity within the general health workforce. Key constituents such as state, tribal nation, and territory cancer control coalitions, health associations, professional societies, advocacy organization, and private, public, and non-profit health workforce employers are integral to achieving and sustaining the success of this effort.

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