July 2017
    Vol 6 Issue 2
From the Editor  
Happy Summer! I hope everyone is enjoying the extra daylight we have at this time of year and managing to stay cool in spite of the heat. Hopefully you are able to spend a little more time relaxing with family and friends. 

We start this issue with a poster from the SEER Proposal Team displaying the data of the Cancer Registry of Greater California in an interesting and eye catching manner. In the accompanying article, Robert McLaughlin describes our recent, behind the scenes, process of how we combined our efforts toward writing and submitting our SEER proposal.

And Dr. Danielle Rodriguez, CRGC Research Scientist and Regional Epidemiologist, shares results from a recent community health canvass in Kettleman City which was follow up to a larger cancer investigation conducted in 2010. A link to the complete report is also included. 

Congratulations are in order for two of the authors of the report mentioned above: Danielle Rodriguez and Suzanne Ryan-Ibarra both earned their doctorate degrees in Epidemiology from UC Davis in June. Danielle works for the cancer registry and Suzanne is Principle Investigator for the Survey Research Group.

We hope you find these articles interesting and informative. As always, thanks for all you do to provide accurate, timely and complete data.

10-Year Proposal Submitted to Support the Cancer Registration and Surveillance of the CRGC

Robert McLaughlin, JD, PhD
Special Programs Advisor, CRGC

This month the CRGC is proud to announce that it has submitted a proposal to continue its participation in the federal Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program for the next ten years.  Crafting the proposal was a substantial undertaking and an opportunity to consider our program in cancer registration and surveillance comprehensively, critically, and strategically.  
Our effort began with an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  With the support of PHI's Bid and Proposal Team, and the encouragement of PHI's senior leadership, we used a shared platform to incorporate ideas, specific contributions, general text, support materials, and edits from a broadly engaged team.  Our proposal is exemplary as a collective project assembled with a singular voice and purpose articulated through the leadership and oversight of Dr. Rosemary Cress.  
In the poster below, we have drawn some of the compelling elements of our proposal together as an illustration of our program and its key features. Our aim is to share some of content of our proposal within our cancer registry community. The poster emphasizes the scale of the work CRGC performs across 48 of California's 58 counties, the diversity of the population among whom cancer data is collected, the range and number of facilities and physician offices that report cancer data, and cumulative volume and quality of CRGC cancer data. It includes a hyperlink to our Fact Sheets which illustrate potential research and cancer surveillance uses of the data, as well as a hyperlink to our research access and disclosure services.  Both are prominent features of our proposal for their impact and support of cancer science.
In the coming months, as our proposal is evaluated through the competitive peer review process that the National Cancer Institute will use to select and award contracts, we will commit ourselves to anticipating questions, prioritizing activities and initiatives that we have identified through our proposal work as presently actionable, and to demonstrating the indispensable character of the CRGC, its expertise, and its dedicated personnel.

Kettleman City Community Health Canvass
Danielle Rodriguez, PhD, MPH
Research Scientist and Regional Epidemiologist, CRGC

This past year the Survey Research Group, in collaboration with the Cancer Registry of Greater California and Cultiva La Salud (all programs of the Public Health Institute), was awarded a grant to explore health behaviors and outcomes, and collect concerns and suggestions from community members in Kettleman City, California. The impetus for this project was that in 2010, the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) were directed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to investigate a suspected increase of birth defects and cancer incidence in Kettleman City. The CDPH, Environmental Health Investigations Branch (EHIB), the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program (CBDMP), and the California Cancer Registry (CCR) worked together to conduct an extensive investigation on the apparent increased number of birth defects, cancer incidence, and environmental exposures that could be linked to birth defects and cancer incidence. Epidemiologic and research reports produced from the 2010 investigation concluded that the rates of birth defects and cancer in this community did not differ significantly from comparison groups.   

However, the community has continued to experience distress and anxiety regarding the incidence of these health-related outcomes. Governmental groups have expressed interest in prioritizing collaboration with this community to address and assuage their concerns. Throughout this project, PHI staff reviewed past and current data for cancer incidence and birth defects; conducted key informant interviews; held two community forums; and conducted a door-to-door survey of all adults 18+ years old in Kettleman City.

Throughout this project, it became quite apparent that the community of Kettleman City has many health and community related concerns. The concerns range from asthma, cancer, air quality, to poor street lights, crime and immigration issues.  
Regarding cancer incidence, PHI epidemiologists reviewed the past investigation of perceived excess cancer in Kettleman City and agreed with the methodology, as well as the interpretation and presentation of the results. PHI conducted an analysis as a follow-up to the previous investigation, including more recent cases, which added an additional six years of cancer incidence data. These analyses did not result in different findings from the original analyses conducted by CCR.

Please click here for more information regarding this study and for a full-report of the findings:

The Kettleman City Team and Contributing Authors:
Suzanne Ryan-Ibarra, MPH, MS, PhD; Rebecca L Garrow, MPH; Danielle Rodriguez, MPH, PhDc; Rosa Garcia; Mayra Sandoval; Maricsa Gutierrez; Albany Magallanes; Lourdes Mejia; Marta Induni, PhD.
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