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15-40 Connection 3 Steps Detect - Massachusetts Vocational/Technical High Schools: Saving lives through early cancer detection 2018-2019

15-40 Connection is teaching audiences in high schools, universities, hospitals and corporations how to use personal health awareness to detect cancer earlier and improve cancer survival rates for everyone. Our partnership with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine has allowed for the incorporation of NNLM/MedLine Plus resources into our 3 Steps Detect education, providing reliable and up-to-date information to further empower patients with guidance regarding doctor/patient relationships, symptoms, confidentiality and patient's rights. Our Outreach and Education mission is to establish program partnerships with new schools and develop sustainable 3 Steps Detect programs.
Organization:
Identify any specific population(s) this project will serve: 
Teens
Behavioral/Social Determinants of Health
Identify roles of participants this project will serve: 
Student, K-12
Project Lead:
Tricia Scannell Laursen
Funding Source: 
NER
Project Funding:
Federal Fiscal Year: 
2018
Funding Amount: 
$10000
Funding Period:
May 1, 2018 to Apr 30, 2019
Project Status:
Awarded

Activities

Outreach to Belmont Hill School
Activity Description:
We trained the health teacher to bring our early detection education program into her health classes. Training included a presentation, access to materials, and handouts for students highlighting medlineplus.gov as a trusted resource.
Activity Dates:
12/05/2018
Activity Type:
Demos, Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Belmont Hill School (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
"1.
Outreach to Falmouth Middle/High School
Activity Description:
We led a training for 10 middle/high school teachers so that they can bring early detection education into their classrooms. Training includes a presentation, access to materials, and handouts for students highlighting medlineplus.gov as a trusted resource.
Activity Dates:
12/04/2018
Activity Type:
Demos, Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
"1.
Outreach to Westborough High School
Activity Description:
We presented to the entire Freshmen class. Presentation included interview with cancer survivor, early detection education, and verbal talking points, Powerpoint slide, and handouts promoting medlineplus.gov as a trusted resource for health information.
Activity Dates:
12/03/2018
Activity Type:
Presentations
Partner Organization(s):
Westborough High School (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
"1.
Outreach to Worcester State University
Activity Description:
We presented to the 1st year Athletic students at WSU. Presentation included early detection education as well as verbal talking points, Powerpoint slide, and handouts promoting medlineplus.gov as a trusted resource for health information.
Activity Dates:
11/28/2018
Activity Type:
Demos, Presentations
Partner Organization(s):
Worcester State University (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
"1.
Exhibit at Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
Activity Description:
15-40 Connection attended the Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance annual conference as an exhibitor. At our booth we provided information our early detection education programs, as well as educational materials directing attendees to medlineplus.gov.
Activity Dates:
11/15/2018
Activity Type:
Exhibits/Health Fairs
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
"1.
Outreach to Monroe-Woodbury High School
Activity Description:
On Oct. 31st I hosted a virtual training for 5 teachers at Monroe-Woodbury High School in Central Valley, NY (10917) to teach them to use our Lesson Plan; which includes a PowerPoint slide and talking points about medlineplus.gov. The teachers plan to share this PowerPoint with approximately 500 students over the course of the school year.
Activity Dates:
10/31/2018
Activity Type:
Demos, Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
"1.
Outreach to Assabet Valley Regional Technical School
Activity Description:
On Oct. 30th I presented to 23 students in the health track at Assabet Valley Regional Technical School in Marlborough (01752) using a PowerPoint featuring a slide and talking points for medlineplus.org. Printed materials with "www.medlineplus.gov" were also distributed to the students.
Activity Dates:
10/30/2018
Activity Type:
Demos, Presentations
Partner Organization(s):
Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School - Library & Learning Commons (Member Organizations)
Achievements:
"1.
Outreach to the College of the Holy Cross
Activity Description:
On Oct. 16th I presented to 10 students involved in the SHAPE club at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester (01610). The PowerPoint included a slide and talking points about medlineplus.gov as a resource for health information.
Activity Dates:
10/16/2018
Activity Type:
Demos, Presentations
Partner Organization(s):
College of the Holy Cross - Dinand Library (Member Organizations)
Achievements:
"1.
Outreach to South High Community School
Activity Description:
On Oct. 11th I trained the health teacher at South High Community School in Worcester, MA (01603) to use a Lesson Plan we provide; which includes a PowerPoint slide and talking points about medlineplus.gov. We also provided printed materials with "www.medlineplus.gov" for her to distribute to her 425 students throughout the school year.
Activity Dates:
10/11/2018
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
South High Community School (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
"1.
Outreach to Nichols College
Activity Description:
We presented to 11 college classes over the course of 4 days (Oct. 15, 18, 19, 22, 29) at Nichols College in Dudley, MA (01571) reaching 220 students. Medlineplus.gov was included and pointed out as a resource during the PowerPoint presentation, and printed materials with "www.medlineplus.gov" were distributed to all students.
Activity Dates:
10/15/2018 to 10/29/2018
Activity Type:
Demos, Presentations
Partner Organization(s):
Nichols College (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
"1.
Presentation to Nichols College
Activity Description:
Presented to Lead 101 classes (Freshmen students). Presentation included slide and talking points highlighting medlineplus.gov as a trusted resource.
Activity Dates:
03/25/2019
Activity Type:
Lectures
Partner Organization(s):
Nichols College (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
Provided students with 3 Steps Detect education to have students develop health skills for life by learning: a. How to set benchmarks for your health b. When to seek medical attention c. How to work with your doctor d. From storytelling from cancer survivors Provide NNLM/MedlinePlus resources/links.
Training at Claremont Academy
Activity Description:
Trained Freshmen students during 2 sessions. Presentation included slide and talking points highlighting medlineplus.gov as a trusted resource.
Activity Dates:
03/21/2019 to 03/28/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Claremont Academy (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
Provided students with 3 Steps Detect education to have students develop health skills for life by learning: a. How to set benchmarks for your health b. When to seek medical attention c. How to work with your doctor d. From storytelling from cancer survivors Provided NNLM/MedlinePlus resources/links.
Presentation to Rice Memorial High School
Activity Description:
Presented to entire class of Freshmen students. Presentation included slide and talking points highlighting medlineplus.gov as a trusted resource. Also provided printed resources for students featuring medlineplus.gov.
Activity Dates:
03/15/2019
Activity Type:
Lectures
Partner Organization(s):
Rice Memorial High School (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
Provided students with 3 Steps Detect education to have students develop health skills for life by learning: a. How to set benchmarks for your health b. When to seek medical attention c. How to work with your doctor d. From storytelling from cancer survivors Provided NNLM/MedlinePlus resources/links.
Training at Harwood Union High School
Activity Description:
15-40 Connection trained health teacher to use our 3 Steps Detect program. Presentation highlighted medlineplus.gov through Powerpoint slides, talking points, and handouts for students.
Activity Dates:
03/14/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Harwood Union School (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
Health educator was trained to teach students how to detect cancer early and incorporate the education into their health curriculum.
Training at Bromfield School
Activity Description:
15-40 Connection trained health teachers to use our 3 Steps Detect program. Presentation highlighted medlineplus.gov through Powerpoint slides, talking points, and handouts for students.
Activity Dates:
03/13/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Bromfield School (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
Health educators were be trained to teach students how to detect cancer early and incorporate the education into their health curriculum.
Presentation at Norwood High School
Activity Description:
15-40 Connection trained health teachers to use our 3 Steps Detect program. Presentation highlighted medlineplus.gov through Powerpoint slides, talking points, and handouts for students.
Activity Dates:
02/11/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Norwood High School (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
Health educators were trained to teach students how to detect cancer early and incorporate the education into their health curriculum.
Presentation to MIAA Summit
Activity Description:
15-40 Connection led a presentation to school faculty members and student leaders. Presentation included early detection education as well as verbal talking points, Powerpoint slide, and handouts promoting medlineplus.gov as a trusted resource for health information.
Activity Dates:
02/08/2019
Activity Type:
Lectures
Partner Organization(s):
Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
Provide students and faculty with 3 Steps Detect education to have students develop health skills for life by learning: a. How to set benchmarks for your health b. When to seek medical attention c. How to work with your doctor d. From storytelling from cancer survivors Provided NNLM/MedlinePlus resources/links.
Presentation at Bancroft School
Activity Description:
15-40 Connection presented to science class students and some faculty members. Presentation included early detection education as well as verbal talking points, Powerpoint slide, and handouts promoting medlineplus.gov as a trusted resource for health information.
Activity Dates:
02/05/2019
Activity Type:
Lectures
Partner Organization(s):
Bancroft School (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
Provided students with 3 Steps Detect education to have students develop health skills for life by learning: a. How to set benchmarks for your health b. When to seek medical attention c. How to work with your doctor d. From storytelling from cancer survivors Provided NNLM/MedlinePlus resources/links.
Presentation at Lunenburg High School
Activity Description:
Presented to seniors in elective health class. Presentation included slides and talking points highlighting medlineplus.gov as a trusted resource. Provide printed materials for students featuring medlineplus.gov, and teacher listed medlineplus.gov on resources in Google Classroom.
Activity Dates:
01/31/2019
Activity Type:
Lectures
Partner Organization(s):
Lunenburg High School (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
Provided students with 3 Steps Detect education to have students develop health skills for life by learning: a. How to set benchmarks for your health b. When to seek medical attention c. How to work with your doctor d. From storytelling from cancer survivors Provided NNLM/MedlinePlus resources/links.
Presentation at Worcester State University
Activity Description:
Presented to sophomore students in the nursing program. Presentation included slides and talking points highlighting medlineplus.gov as a trusted resource. Provided printed resources for students featuring medlineplus.gov.
Activity Dates:
01/28/2019
Activity Type:
Lectures
Partner Organization(s):
Worcester State University (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
Provided students with 3 Steps Detect education to have students develop health skills for life by learning: a. How to set benchmarks for your health b. When to seek medical attention c. How to work with your doctor d. From storytelling from cancer survivors Provided NNLM/MedlinePlus resources/links
Presentation to St. Mark's School in Southborough MA
Activity Description:
Presented to all of the junior students. Presentations included slides and talking points highlighting medlineplus.gov as a trusted resource. Also provided printed resources for students featuring medlineplus.gov.
Activity Dates:
01/25/2019
Activity Type:
Lectures
Partner Organization(s):
St. Mark's School (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
Provided students with 3 Steps Detect education to have students develop health skills for life by learning: a. How to set benchmarks for your health b. When to seek medical attention c. How to work with your doctor d. From storytelling from cancer survivors Provided NNLM/MedlinePlus resources/links,
Training at Gardner High School
Activity Description:
Trained three health teachers to use our 3 Steps Detect lesson plan in their classrooms. Lesson plan includes PowerPoint presentation with slides and talking points highlighting medlineplus.gov as a trusted resource, as well as printed handouts featuring medlineplus.gov for students.
Activity Dates:
01/24/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Gardner High School (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
Provided teachers with with 3 Steps Detect education and materials to have students develop health skills for life by learning: a. How to set benchmarks for your health b. When to seek medical attention c. How to work with your doctor d. From storytelling from cancer survivors Provided NNLM/MedlinePlus resources/links.
Presentation to Millbury High School
Activity Description:
Presented to three classes of freshman health students. Presentation highlighted medlineplus.gov through PowerPoint slides, talking points and handouts to students. Two health teachers were trained to be able to continue the presentation with students in their future classes.
Activity Dates:
01/22/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Millbury High School (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
Provided students with 3 Steps Detect education to have students develop health skills for life by learning: a. How to set benchmarks for your health b. When to seek medical attention c. How to work with your doctor d. From storytelling from cancer survivors Provided NNLM/MedlinePlus resources/links.
Presentation at North Middlesex High School
Activity Description:
Presented to four health classes. Presentation highlighted medlineplus.gov through PowerPoint slides, talking points and handout to students. The teacher was trained to be able to continue the presentation with students in other/future classes.
Activity Dates:
12/18/2018
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
North Middlesex High School (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
Provide students with 3 Steps Detect education to have students develop health skills for life by learning: a. How to set benchmarks for your health b. When to seek medical attention c. How to work with your doctor d. From storytelling from cancer survivors Provide NNLM/MedlinePlus resources/links
Presentation to Dracut High School students
Activity Description:
Presentation to all students in health classes, highlighting MedlinePlus.gov. Powerpoint slides, talking points and handouts to students.
Activity Dates:
12/10/2018
Activity Type:
Lectures
Partner Organization(s):
Dracut High School (Partner Organizations)
Achievements:
1. Provided students with 3 Steps Detect education to have students develop health skills for life by learning: a. How to set benchmarks for your health b. When to seek medical attention c. How to work with your doctor d. From storytelling from cancer survivors 2. Provided NNLM/MedlinePlus resources/links
Final Report
Approaches and Interventions Used:

The goal for this project was to establish program partnerships to teach 3 Steps Detect and share NNLM and MedlinePlus resources, with a focus on Massachusetts Vocational/Technical Schools as well as urban areas. In order to achieve these objectives, we first identified targets based on location, population, and referrals. Key contacts at target location were identified as staff connected to the health curriculum (i.e. health teachers, Health Track program directors, and/or Wellness Department Chairs). We established communication with these contacts through emails, phone calls, and conferences. Both electronic and hard-copy marketing materials were shared as an introduction to our education program.
 
When a location committed to programming, the next phase was to decide what type of model would best suit the location (i.e. on-site presentation, Train-the-Trainer, a combination of the two, etc). 15-40 Connection worked closely with the location’s key contact to determine the most effective strategy. Once the program was scheduled and the logistics were confirmed, the project moved into the implementation phase.
 
In the implementation phase, to maintain consistency across all locations, the same Powerpoint presentation was used for all high school audiences. The presentation includes stories and lessons from cancer survivors in either live speaker of video format, as well as tips and suggestions for practicing the 3 Steps Detect. The presentations conclude with talking points for MedlinePlus as a trusted resource for health information, as well as handouts with medlineplus.org listed as a resource. In the case of the Train-the-Trainer model, teachers were given access to the Powerpoint and presentation script, as well as supplemental materials (worksheets, handouts, and activities) which could be used during the lesson implementation.
 
More information about 15-40 Connection’s educational programs can be found here:
https://www.15-40.org/get-involved/education/
 
                                                  
 

Problems or Barriers Encountered:

The largest challenge to this project came in the scheduling phase. We had hoped to complete education in more Vocational schools within the grant timeline, however getting the schools to commit to a date proved to be a challenge. While there was genuine interest in our program from many of the contacts we connected with, many schools were focused on other current problems such as the opioid crisis and vaping.
 
Once we identified the challenge that a limited target population posed, we made the decision to shift focus away from our initial target of 11 specific Vocational Technical schools so that we could meet our goal of bringing the education to underserved populations. By broadening our outreach, we were able to establish meaningful partnerships and complete programs with a total of 35 locations throughout the grant period, providing the opportunity to expose these new partners to MedlinePlus resources as well as early detection education.
 

Evaluation:

Success of our programming is measured by post-presentation surveys which provide retention data from attendees. The program partners served by this grant had combined retention results as shown below:
 

Criteria All School Average Combined Results from NNLM schools
Knowledge of 3 Steps Detect 83% 94%
 
Knowledge of the 2 Week Rule 97% 94%
 
Knowledge of the most common cancer symptom 80% 86%
Pledge to change their behavior 92% 96%
 

 
 
These results show that attendees are paying attention, and the educational content is memorable. The 2-week rule retention rate was slightly lower than the average, which could be attributed to students electing to seek medical attention sooner than the recommended 2-week waiting time (3% of responses indicated they would seek medical attention after 1 week). There is also a very high intention of behavior change, which indicates that the attendees find value in the tools and resources we provide during the presentation.  
 
 

Continuation Plans:

We make every effort to maintain sustainable programs with our partners. In high schools, we establish a Train-the-Trainer model. Teachers who are certified as Trainers are contacted twice a year (in January and June) with a reminder to submit reports on use of the presentation. They provide data including number of students reached, materials used, and comments/questions/feedback from their audience. Additionally, with their access to our online Trainer Portal, we are able to easily update and streamline the materials that they have access to, ensuring that they are sharing the most up-to-date materials with their students. We also provide toolkits as well as contact information for teachers to share with students that may wish to engage in a project with us in the future. We will continue to work on the leads/contact we have in the vocational and urban schools to get these resources into their schools.
 
This is also the 2nd year in a row that we were able to partner with Big Y to distribute printed information through their pharmacies. This year, they chose to build on last year’s partnership by inviting 15-40 Connection to present at their annual pharmacist conference, allowing us a larger platform to share more detailed information about 3 Steps Detect and MedlinePlus resources. We plan to continue our partnership with Big Y as a key partner in reaching vulnerable populations.
 
 
 

Lessons Learned:

The initial plan for the project was to focus on bringing 15-40 Connection’s early detection education to Vocational Technical schools. We know that the best strategy for completing a program successfully is having the right contact in place to assist with implementation of education to school. But we have learned that it takes persistence and patience since there are many factors that come into play when scheduling. We had a strong list of leads and schools we wanted to target, and reached out to contacts at the schools via email, conference tabling, and phone calls. Unfortunately the programs did not fall into place as quickly as we had anticipated. While there was genuine interest from many of the contacts we connected with, more extensive follow-up than anticipated was needed.
 
This was due to timing of vacations/breaks from school, teachers’ demanding schedules and limited time, and school-year schedules/course curriculum already being full for the year. We were able to shift our efforts to bringing the early detection education program to other schools, and successfully complete presentations with a total of 35 locations. By broadening our outreach, we were able to accomplish our goal of teaching underserved populations how to detect cancer early. Minority populations accounting for >50% of the audience were reached at 50% of the locations where we shared 3 Steps Detect education.
 
 

Impact:
We found that many of our program partners were inspired to engage with the education in a more meaningful way. They identified with our mission to share early detection education with as many people as possible, and found creative ways to extend the education into their wider community. Students at Lunenburg High School designed and created bulletin boards and digital posters to be shared on tv screens around the school. Nursing students at Worcester State University broke up into groups and shared 3 Steps Detect through tablings, interactive activities, and education sessions both on- and off-campus. These projects allowed early detection education to reach beyond our original target audience and impact the wider school community. 15-40 Connection is saving and improving lives through education. By learning how to recognize potential symptoms, when to act on those symptoms, and how to advocate for themselves with healthcare providers, students are empowered. Our programs are reaching audiences at a vulnerable age, and giving student health skills that they will be able to use for life. We are also providing trusted resources and relevant articles through our partnership with NNLM, including online, printed, and verbal references encouraging people to use MedlinePlus.
Other:
• Post about presentation at Millbury High School Jan. 22nd www.facebook.com/1540connection/photos/a.412740208782/10157220699483783/?type=3&theater • Post about student projects at Lunenburg High School: www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F1540connection%2Fposts%2F10157364584373783