Team NCC, along with several partners from the state’s cancer control programs, recently returned from the National CDC Cancer Conference in Atlanta with a ton of notes, some fresh ideas, and great insights into what other states are working on in cancer control.
The CDC only hosts this conference once every five years, so they pack a plethora of speakers and sessions into just a few days. Being the strategic team that we are, we split up as much as possible and were able to attend many of the sessions. Here are some of the key takeaways we have from the conference:
- Project ECHO is awesome! Dr. Sanjeev Arora, the founder of Project ECHO, was one of the plenary session speakers and knocked it out of the park with his talk. The Project ECHO model of learning connects primary care practitioners with expert inter-disciplinary specialist teams for mentoring, guidance, and, ultimately, assistance in delivering best practice of care. His list of 11 potential uses of ECHO in Cancer got our wheels turning. Learn more about Nevada’s Project ECHO here.
- You know how in Nevada we always feel a few steps behind (or even perpetually at the bottom of every list)? When it comes to work in cancer control, we’re actually doing pretty great! Our Sun Smart Nevada program is on par with the work of many other states, as are our efforts in early detection and survivorship. We still have room to improve, and with funding, collaboration, and capacity we’ll get there. Together.
- Mondays are awesome! For prevention that is. We learned about I Quit Monday, a tobacco cessation program that encourages people to try quitting on Monday. That gives quitters 52 opportunities to break the habit each year rather than just relying on landmark dates like New Year’s Day, their birthday, or even the start of the month. We see Mondays as a great day to start an exercise regimen, try incorporating more healthful eating (like Meatless Mondays!), and yes, to try quitting tobacco. What can Mondays do for you?
- Be prepared to hear a lot more about liver cancer in the coming years. Cancer data show that incidence of liver cancer is on the rise, and we already know that Nevada has higher incidence than the national average. We were surprised to learn that what most of us consider to be moderate alcohol consumption is now identified as significantly increasing cancer risk, partly because our serving sizes are larger than we think. Are your 3-4 glasses of wine each week bigger than the recommended 5 ounces?
- Paid time off for cancer screenings is awesome! Allowing workers to take care of their health is definitely a morale booster for employees, but studies show that companies can reduce their workplace costs with such a policy. Healthy employees are pretty awesome too.
- Patient-centered communication and care are vital. Dr. Atul Gawande rocked our worlds with his talk about high-value health care and the importance of focusing on the patient. It’s hard to encapsulate all of the nuggets within his talk into this one bullet point, but we encourage you to check out any of his books or videos of his talks and speeches on YouTube. Here’s a TedTalk he did in 2012 on patient-focused, high-value medicine.
- Partnership, collaboration, and team work are awesome! We are so excited to get back to work and incorporate these new ideas and tools into our work. But, we can’t do it without you. A coalition’s strength comes from people coming together for a common purpose. Join one of our task forces, become a member, make a donation, or volunteer. We would love to have you as a part of our cancer fighting team!