HTQL student won The Burroughs Wellcome Fund Award and presented at the ACTS conference

Tiwalade Adekunle presented her poster on a community health worker (CHW)-led cervical cancer screening model for Lake County, Indiana.

Indiana aims to engage CHWs to increase the rate of females screened for HPV by 2023. The model involves CHWs helping community members self-sample for HPV. This is an effective and promising method to reduce cervical cancer screening barriers.

Adekunle’s research emphasizes the insider knowledge CHWs have of their communities, making it easier for them to influence and educate community members, as opposed to an outsider. Tiwalade’s study explored CHWs’ perspectives on the barriers to cervical cancer screening in their communities and the feasibility and anticipated acceptability of CHW-facilitated screening.

The study found various barriers to cervical cancer screening in Lake County, including financial barriers, mistrust, and housing insecurity that occurs at an individual, interpersonal, and community levels. 

However, CHWs are able to address many of these barriers. CHWs consider CHW-facilitated self-sampling feasible and acceptable, with key considerations such as adequate training for CHWs on the device, safety considerations for CHWs, and gender concordance between CHWs and community members.

Tiwalade and other attendees also had the opportunity to meet with Indiana legislative aides to share the impact of funding for translational research and advocate for increased funding for science. They also received passes to the Senate Gallery and saw the Senate in session.

“The conference was a great opportunity for me to meet others doing excellent research and get a little taste of advocacy in the process,” Adekunle said.

, ,