The COEE team has pivoted and adapted to the pandemic by engaging with over 800 community members about topics related to COVID-19 and cancer through educational webinars. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the COEE team partnered with the Florida Cancer Control and Research Advisory Council (CCRAB) and the North Central Florida Cancer Control Collaborative (NCFCCC) to host an informational webinar with 411 attendees on how to best navigate cancer treatment and survivorship during the pandemic. Speakers included oncologists Christopher Cogle, M.D., and Amar Kelkar, M.D.
In partnership with Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE), a national hereditary cancer advocacy organization, and the North Central Florida Cancer Control Collaborative (NCFCCC), the office provided an update for those navigating cancer care during the pandemic as part of our monthly Cancer Connections meeting with speaker Merry Jennifer Markham, M.D., FACP, FASCO, and 220 attendees.
During the summer, UFHCC COEE Community Advisory Board members recommended a webinar focused on hurricane preparedness for cancer patients and survivors in a pandemic. The COEE office partnered with the American Cancer Society and the North Central Florida Cancer Control Collaborative (NCFCCC) to host the webinar which had 57 attendees. Speakers included John MacDonald of Levy County Emergency Management, Sue Colson, R.N., of the City of Cedar Key, Jennifer McKathan of the American Cancer Society, Inc., and Merry Jennifer Markham, M.D., FACP, FASCO, of the UF Health Cancer Center.
In January 2021, the COEE office again partnered with the Florida Cancer Control and Research Advisory Council (CCRAB) and the North Central Florida Cancer Control Collaborative (NCFCCC). With 247 attendees, Christopher Cogle, M.D., and Amar Kelkar, M.D., presented on a webinar for cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and providers, this time on what individuals with a current or prior cancer diagnosis needed to know about the COVID-19 vaccine.
The UFHCC COEE team is involved in the Florida Community-Engaged Research Alliance Against COVID-19, a statewide initiative aimed at advancing evidence-based COVID health promotion practices and minority participation in vaccine and therapeutic clinical trials.
COEE is also working with Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., on the Health and Human Services (HHS) Special Project for Equitable and Efficient Distribution (SPEED) of COVID-19 therapeutics, a federal allocation of COVID-19 outpatient therapeutic, bamlanivimab, to be administered in priority communities with a high-risk of hospitalization. This study is being conducted in Columbia and surrounding counties, targeting people 65 and older who are considered high-risk with a positive COVID result. These patients are identified through a database and are contacted for participation and to schedule an infusion of the therapeutic. During the infusion, our team is administering a survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on their social, physical and mental well-being, their experience and assess their knowledge of COVID-19. This survey is also being administered to those being cared for by safety-net facilities and in the UF Health Hematology and Oncology Clinics.