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Community Outreach Advocacy

Introduction to Community Outreach Advocacy

What is Cancer Advocacy?

As mentioned in the overview of the advocacy section, the traditional definition of advocacy is to work on someone’s behalf, to “advocate” for their rights and in the cancer world there are many ways to advocate.

In this part of the website we will focus on community outreach advocacy. To do this we will briefly discuss the traditional old model of cancer advocates, followed by the traditional old model of a community outreach advocate.

Then we will move on to discuss our new model for community outreach advocates that we feel can be even more effective. Our hope is that community advocates will adopt this new model – more about this later.

     
   

 
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The Traditional Model of Cancer Advocacy

Using the image above you can see that we have identified six distinct categories of cancer advocacy. Usually an advocate will stay in one area but some advocates wear several hats and switch between the different areas.

  • Political Advocacy: Individuals and groups that focus in the political arena
  • Fundraising Advocacy: Individuals and groups that raise funds
  • Research Advocacy: Individuals and groups that advocate for research
  • Support Advocacy: Individuals and groups that advocate to support patients and their families
  • Educational Advocacy: Individuals and groups that advocate to educate patients, their families, their communities and their health care providers
  • Community Outreach Advocacy: Individuals and groups that advocate to reach out into the community to meet their needs.

The Traditional Model of Community Outreach Advocacy

Community outreach advocacy means different things to different people.
Although the activities of advocates may differ, the purpose is the same:

“To reach out into the community in a manner that encourages a dialogue
and increases understanding to better serve patients”

Perhaps we should first define community.
Community can mean different things to different people. There are small communities and also large communities. Here are some examples of how advocates identify communities:

Community Tree
  • Their immediate family is their community.
  • Their neighborhood is their community.
  • Their city or town is their community.
  • Their state or country is their community.
  • Those of the same religion are their community.
  • Those that speak the same language are their community.
  • Those of the same gender are their community.
  • Some cancer survivors consider other cancer survivors as their community.
 

All of these can, and are considered a community. You may belong to many different communities at varying times. All of these are communities to which outreach advocacy could apply.

The importance of Community Outreach Advocacy

While research advocates contribute by adding a human face and sense of urgency to cancer research, community outreach advocates can stimulate discussions that may otherwise not happen, which can lead to understanding and action by members of their community.

They work closely with all stakeholders in their community to help ensure that proper treatment, emotional, informational and financial needs are met.

Community Outreach Advocates Could Provide Information To:
  • Encourage members of their community to consider cancer screening.
  • Encourage members of their community to talk to their doctors about what their risk is of getting a particular cancer based on their individual or family history.
  • Encourage an individual with a cancer concern to seek out advice from a healthcare provider and to get second opinions.
  • Provide information about resources available in that community.
  • Help connect one cancer survivor with another.
  • Provide information that could dispel myths about cancer and how it is treated.

Who are Community Outreach Advocates?

Advocates become advocates for different reasons. Each of the reasons can be valid and needed as a community is also varied. One size does not fit all.

  • Some advocates are people who have had cancer, or who have been a caregiver of someone with cancer, or they have been affected by someone who had cancer.
  • Some people are motivated to reach out to others suffering from cancer by providing information about cancer and its treatment to an uninformed audience.
  • Some people care about others in their community and want to provide them with information that can help protect them as much as possible.
  • Some people are leaders in the communities and feel it is their responsibility to help in many ways.

 

 

 
 
Community Outreach Advocacy  
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