Cancer is not an equal-opportunity disease. Cancer rates are 10 percent higher among African Americans than Caucasians, and death rates are double in African American are double to those in Caucasians. While the cause of these statistics is still unknown, many minorities must face this great burden without the resources they need.

To meet the needs of the African-American community, leading universities and national health organizations—led by scientists at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB— came together to form the Deep South Network for Cancer Control—a unique collaboration of health professionals and specialists, local leaders, skilled researchers and community volunteers from Alabama and Mississippi who share one mission: to eliminate cancer health disparities by conducting community-based participatory education, training and research.

Federal funding for the program ceased in 2017, but the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center uses infrastructure from the Deep South Network, including the successful Community Health Advisor model,  to reach Alabamians most at-risk for cancer through education and outreach initiatives.