Kelsey MacKinnon

Kelsey MacKinnon’s goal with the internship project with ONE Neighborhood Builders was to investigate provider perspectives of barriers and facilitators to women’s cancer screening and to ultimately develop system-level recommendations for improving both breast and cervical cancer screening rates among underserved women in RI aged 40 and above with a focus on Black women.  Reducing barriers and expanding access to breast and cervical cancer screening combined with ensuring timely access to follow-up services are all essential to improve prognosis and reduce the Black-White breast and cervical cancer mortality gap. First, a multipronged approach is needed to address the main barriers to screening identified in this study- transportation, culture, childcare, and language. Community-based approaches to women’s cancer screening, including community partnerships, active community engagement, utilizing health promotion community navigators and organizing community events could help to reduce these barriers by building relationships and trust among the African American community, which may lead to improved outcomes for breast and cervical cancer screening. It is also critical to partner with community and faith-based organizations in Rhode Island to provide education and promotion of women’s cancer screening and to increase awareness about breast and cervical cancer disparities and services available to facilitate access to screening and treatment. Furthermore, utilizing systems for tracking gaps in care and the collection and maintenance of data relevant to all breast and Pap health services delivered at the practice and state level may be effective for improvement in long-term cancer screening rates.