The University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center supports a wide range of projects focused on reducing cancer disparities in our community.

Community Health Awareness, Messages, and Prevention (CHAMP) Lab

Director: Cheryl L. Knott, PhD

Project HEAL 2.0

Funded by the American Cancer Society #129334-RSG-16-022-01-CPPB

Members at a service of faith receiving an award

The Health through Early Awareness and Learning (HEAL) Project works with faith-based communities to foster sustainable cancer awareness and to increase breast, prostate and colorectal screenings.

The project team uses a community-based participatory research approach to engage Prince George’s County and Baltimore City residents.

Project HEAL has been effective for increasing cancer knowledge and screening rates among participants.

Project HEAL Community Materials

The Project HEAL Health Ministry Guide can help you get Project HEAL started in your church. It serves as an overview of how Project HEAL works to educate, empower, and connect people with resources they need to get screened and live a healthy life.

Project HEAL's Cancer Resource Guide lists resources local for obtaining recommended screening and treatment. Resources include free or low-cost screening options; general cancer information; general health resources; and cancer support group information.

Download Project HEAL materials:

Faith-based Organization Capacity Inventory

Church leaders can use this survey to assess their organization’s capacity for health promotion activities and to plan future health programming.

Community Health Advisor Training Modules

Community Health Advisors (CHAs) complete in-person and online training before they take their CHA Certification exam. The information covered in those training sessions is available in the video links below. You may view all the training videos on CHAMPTube.

Educational Needs of Young African American Women about Breast Cancer 

Funded by the Living in Pink Foundation

Dr. Knott and team are leading an effort to determine the educational needs and concerns that young African American women, ages 18-45 have about breast cancer.

CHAMP Lab Publications:

  • Holt, C. L., Tagai, E. K., Santos, S. L. Z., Scheirer, M. A., Bowie, J., Haider, M., & Slade, J. (2019). Web-based versus in-person methods for training lay community health advisors to implement health promotion workshops: participant outcomes from a cluster-randomized trial. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 9(4), 573-582. doi:10.1093/tbm/iby065
  • Slade, J. L., Holt, C. L., Bowie, J., Scheirer, M. A., Toussaint, E., Saunders, D. R., Savoy, A., Carter, R.L., & Santos, S. L. (2018). Recruitment of African American churches to participate in cancer early detection interventions: A community perspective. Journal of Religion and Health, 57(2), 751-761. doi:10.1007/s10943-018-0586-2; PMC5916822
  • Williams, R.M., Tagai, E.K., Santos, S.L.Z., Slade, J.L., Carter, R.L., & Holt, C.L. (2018). The role of leadership support in a church-based cancer education implementation study. Journal of Religion and Health, 57(1). 146-156. doi:10.1007/s10943-017-0427-8; PMC5723241
  • Holt, C.L., Graham-Phillips, A.L., Mullins, C.D., Slade, J.L., Savoy, A., & Carter, R. (2017). Health ministry and activities in African American faith-based organizations: A qualitative examination of facilitators, barriers, and use of technology. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 28(1), 378-388. doi:10.1353/hpu.2017.0029; PMC5573180

Learn more about Community Health Awareness, Messages and Prevention (CHAMP).

Framing HPV Vaccination Messages for African American Parents

Principal Investigator: Xiaoli Nan, PhD

Funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) #1R01CA219060-01

The goal of this study is to develop a message framing intervention to increase HPV vaccine uptake among African American adolescents. Using an evidence-based model, Dr. Nan and team will develop culturally appropriate messages, determine how framing messages influences parents’ acceptance of the HPV vaccine, and evaluate the use of mobile tablets in a message framing, clinic-based trial.

This study will provide key insight into the influence of messaging related to the promotion of HPV vaccination, particularly among African Americans. It will also address a critical aspect of health disparities disadvantaging the African American community.

Learn more about Dr. Nan’s work.

Screening To Overcome and Prevent Colorectal Cancer (STOP CRC)  

Principal Investigator: Sunmin Lee, ScD

Culturally Adapted Decision Support Navigation Trial for Chinese and Korean American Primary Care Patients 

Funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health (NIH) #1R01MD012778-01A1

A group doing activities at a table.

Professor Sunmin Lee and her research team have developed a culturally adapted colorectal cancer screening program that aids decision-making among Chinese and Korean patients in the primary care setting. The goal of this study is to overcome unique linguistic and cultural barriers and increase colorectal cancer screening among Chinese and Korean Americans at the primary care setting.


  • Jung, M. Y., Holt, C. L., Ng, D., Sim, H. J., Lu, X., Le, D., Hee-Soon, J., Li, J., Lee, S. (2018). The Chinese and Korean American immigrant experience: a mixed-methods examination of facilitators and barriers of colorectal cancer screening. Ethnicity & health, 23(8), 847–866. doi:10.1080/13557858.2017.1296559
  • Lu, X., Holt, C., Chen, J. C., Le, D., Chen, J., Kim, G. Y., Li, J., Lee, S. (2016). Is Colorectal Cancer A Western Disease? Role of Knowledge and Influence of Misconception on Colorectal Cancer Screening among Chinese and Korean Americans: A Mixed Methods Study. Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP, 17(11), 4885–4892. doi:10.22034/APJCP.2016.17.11.4885

Learn more about the Maryland Asian American Health Studies.

Identifying Correlates of Early Breast Cancer Detection in Community-based Cancer Screening Program

Principal Investigator: Shana Ntiri, MD, MPH

Funded by the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), K12 CA126849

This research evaluated the impact of a community-based, breast cancer control program targeted at uninsured African Americans on early breast cancer detection. The research showed that there was an early breast cancer detection benefit for participants in the community-based program described. This early breast cancer benefit was derived by program participants regardless of whether women participated in the program for only one cycle of screening services or if screening services were continued at regular intervals.


  • Ntiri, SO. & Klyushnenkova, EN. & Bentzen, SM. "Outcomes of a Community-based Breast Cancer Screening Program in Baltimore City." Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, vol. 29 no. 3, 2018, pp. 898-913. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/hpu.2018.0067. PubMed PMID: PMID: 30122671

UMGCCC Clinical Trials

Learn more about UMGCCC's clinical trials and view our current listing of trials.