From the educational and community outreach perspective, the UTMB Educational Cancer Center, under the auspices of the Preventive Medicine and Community Health (PMCH) department, is a noted leader in promoting cancer awareness, early detection and treatment and nutritional health.
UTMB’s programs in preventive medicine and community outreach are second to none in the state of Texas and rank near the top nationally, as well. The UTMB Cancer Center, through its PMCH department, is rapidly becoming synonymous with best practices in cancer education and outreach, an effort that has far-reaching effects in our fist against this disease.
The Cancer Center, through its Preventive Medicine and Community Health Department, offers three primary programs. It oversees a statewide initiative to teach medical students about cancer, and this program is known as the Cancer Teaching and Curriculum Enhancement in Undergraduate Medicine (CATCHUM) model.
PMCH/UTMB Cancer Center are also instrumental in directing the efforts of the Cancer Nutrition Network of Texas. The CNNT provides nutritional information and support for cancer patients throughout Texas.
The center’s Cancer Care Passport Program is a user-friendly tool supplied to cancer patients and caregivers statewide to assist them in planning their cancer treatment.
Community involvement and support is another important way the UTMB Cancer Center and its educational component build awareness for cancer prevention and cancer programs.
CATCHUM Program Serves as National Model
The Cancer Teaching and Curriculum Enhancement in Undergraduate Medicine (CATCHUM) Project is a consortium of eight Texas Medical schools aligned to enhance much-needed cancer education in Texas’ medical schools. This program is lead by Billy U. Philips, Ph.D., Associate Director, Prevention and Control/Community Outreach at UTMB. Through the development of a comprehensive and uniform curricula and implementation and evaluation of cancer education in medical schools, the CATCHUM Project ensures that every medical student in Texas is equipped to become an effective agent for cancer prevention and control.
The CATCHUM Model has been reviewed by other communities and states across the U.S., and it has served as the prototype for the establishment of many similar projects nation-wide.
The ultimate goal of CATCHUM is to reduce the burden of cancer on Texas by preparing future physicians to:
- Reduce the risk of developing cancer in themselves as well as in their patients, practices and communities.
- Detect, diagnose and treat cancer earlier, when a cure is more likely.
- Improve the accessibility, availability and quality of cancer resources, services and programs.
- Advance the control of cancer through the development and application of new prevention, detection, diagnostic and therapeutic methods and techniques.
In 2006, the Cancer Center, through several outreach initiatives, conducted more than 16,000 breast, cervical and skin cancer screenings throughout Texas. Via its"Cancer Passport" program, PMCH and the Cancer Center provided oncology detection, treatment and nutritional information to more than 10,000 residents of Texas. To learn more about this unique cancer education program, visit: www.catchum.utmb.edu.