Julie St. John, Dr.P.H.

Julie St. John, Dr.P.H.

Julie St. John, Dr.P.H., South Texas regional director with the Center for Community Health Development, a component of the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, recently authored an article on the Education to Promote Improved Cancer Outcomes (ÉPICO) training program for cancer prevention, treatment and management.

“Promotores and ÉPICO: A model for implementing a cancer training and education program among Hispanics with increased cancer risk,” published in the Fall 2013 issue of the Texas Public Health Journal, examined implementation of the ÉPICO model as a training method for promotores working to tailor their message and strategies to the needs of residents from South Texas colonias.

“ÉPICO aims to increase the utilization of comprehensive cancer services by developing a replicable training program on early detection, treatment and health survivorship for colorectal, breast and cervical cancers,” said St. John. “ÉPICO provides culturally relevant, tailored strategies to promote cancer prevention.”

ÉPICO promotores developed a training model based on research conducted among colonias residents as well as other promotores. They developed bilingual training modules and conducted training sessions with promotores who then implemented the tailoring-based training model with the colonias residents. This model not only educates individuals at risk of cancer or cancer survivors but also enhances the education of promotores.

“The project fills a gap in the existing continuing education material available for state certified promotores while simultaneously addressing the cancer education needs of colonia residents,” St. John said.

Additional authors include Christopher Beaudoin, Ph.D., Katharine Nimmons, Denise Adame and Marcia Ory, Ph.D.

— Rae Mitchell

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