Program Strategy 4: Partnerships as a Tool for Systems and Policy Change

All funded programs are required to collaborate with other CDC-funded programs and organizations, as well as organizations not funded by CDC. These partnerships assist in the development, implementation, and evaluation of surveillance and educational activities, and provide resources and capacity to implement systems and policy change.

The goals of these activities are to—

  • Collaborate with internal and external partners to leverage resources and foster mutually beneficial relationships.
  • Work with health systems, academic health centers, community clinics, and other clinical locations to encourage systematic or policy changes that foster desired clinical and behavioral outcomes.

Strong partnerships within the state health department are critical for performing public health activities in cancer genomics. The state health department has access to population-level data sources to monitor performance, identify activities that may be effective, and measure changes in health outcomes. Other cancer programs are also funded through the state health department, which may provide opportunities for collaboration on some activities and the development of resources. Collaborations with entities routinely found at the state health department are a requirement of this funding opportunity.

As previously mentioned, collaborations with a state cancer registry and a state BRFSS are required and will be used to implement activities in surveillance (Strategy 1). These data will also be used to evaluate activities, monitor performance, and develop health education materials, as well as for program planning.

Collaborations with other state cancer programs, specifically the Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, and the Colorectal Cancer Control program, are required and may include, but are not limited to—

  • Meeting regularly for information sharing.
  • Cross-promoting events and activities.
  • Sharing or providing technical expertise.
  • Co-sponsoring or jointly implementing activities or events.
  • Promoting resources.
  • Collecting and sharing data.
  • Leveraging partnerships and other program resources.
  • Integrating genomics into existing educational materials and resources from other programs.

Collaborations with health systems, academic health centers, community clinics, other clinical locations, and/or private and public payers to facilitate policy and systems change are required. Identifying key partners to collaborate on policy and systems change activities is critical. These activities may include, but are not limited to—

  • Stakeholder education about hereditary cancer syndromes and public health strategies to address them.
  • Dissemination of data on hereditary cancer burden to stakeholders and decision makers.
  • Reducing structural barriers for access to cancer genetic services through patient navigation programs, promoting telephone genetic counseling, or telegenetics.
  • Provider assessment and feedback programs using surveillance data.
  • Clinical and patient decision aids on genetic testing options, including multi-gene panel testing.
  • Assessing and disseminating health plan coverage policies, gaps in coverage, and providing model plans for coverage.
  • Assessing health system policies and practices in family history and cancer genomics.
  • Assessing health system needs and priorities in family history and cancer genomics.
  • Dissemination of guides for providers on how to work with payers on coverage for cancer genetic services.
  • Policy education and analysis.
  • Promotion and dissemination on health system or clinic best practices on standard family history screening and/or tumor screening.

Developing relationships with community-based organizations such as non-profit organizations, community clinics, advocacy organizations, and academic institutions to aid in the implementation of activities and dissemination of information is strongly encouraged.

Developing relationships with other relevant chronic disease programs that address topics in genomics, such as familial hypercholesterolemia, is strongly encouraged.