Patient Activation and Navigation: Utilizing Innovative Patient Engagement Strategies to Elevate Knowledge of Breast Cancer and Clinical Trials Among African American Women

Call for Peer Navigators!

The Office of Community Engagement is currently conducting a study aimed at utilizing innovative patient engagement strategies to elevate knowledge of breast cancer and clinical trials among African American women, particularly in Alameda county. This study stems from the reality that there is a low recruitment of African American women in breast cancer clinical trials. In order to understand ways to educate and recruit African American women in clinical trials, we will combine peer navigation, patient activation, and participatory planning to develop community and patient focused projects.

Why this project?

  • The incidence rate of breast cancer between African American and white women is near equal. Still, the mortality rate of breast cancer is 42% higher for African American women than white women.
  • A complex mix of factors may explain this disparity, including later stage diagnoses, access to screenings, treatment, cultural perceptions, and socio-economic factors.
  • Low levels of recruitment of African American women in clinical trials further challenge the ability to identify efficacious and safe breast cancer treatment approaches for African American women.
  • What are the barriers and strategies to more effectively raise awareness and engage patients in health care and clinical trials?
  • We believe that new answers and resources can be found in a participatory and community-based approach.

Why Peer Navigators?

  • The project aims to involve individuals and their community in playing an active role in this debate. Working together, we can better understand the challenges and design remedial efforts that are relevant to the target population.
  • Peer navigators or patient navigators are trained to support patients by acting as an interface between patients/families and providers. They help increase outreach, as well as develop and test interventions in the community. Largely used in cancer care, peer navigation has proven key to improving access to care and adherence to ongoing treatment.

Your Role

Participate in training about breast cancer in the African American community, research, health literacy, and patient engagement.

Act as ambassador and community expert, drive strategies for education and outreach to African American women about breast cancer and clinical trials.

We are currently recruiting 10-12 peer navigators who are based in the counties of Santa Clara, San Mateo and Alameda, which represent the study focus.They will work with Stanford Offic of Community Engagement and will be involved in the following activities:

· Training (June-August 2018)

· Design & planning (August-October 2018)

· Execution (October-November 2018)

Peer navigators will participate in 4 education sessions led by researchers and practitioners from Stanford. These sessions are designed to enhance peer navigators knowledge of breast cancer and to activate their awareness in health and health care.


Candidates should be:

· Living in Alameda County

· Willing to devote ~40 hours over the course of six months for this study.

· Must be over the age of 18

· Willing to attend all educational sessions

· Willing to design and deploy their own community engagement plan

Please note that we value your time and contribution, and a monetary compensation is foreseen (about $500).


Please fill out the survey below if you are interested in this opportunity:

Contact Us:

Kendra Smith: Associate Director of Community Engagement

Heman Gill: Research Assistant


Connect with Us

Stanford faculty, students, trainees and affiliated researchers are invited to join the Center for Population Health Sciences. Members receive access to data sets, funding notices, consultation and collaboration opportunities.