TGF acknowledges a difference between outreach and education, viewing outreach as a way to introduce the topic during brief interactions. Educational activities allow messaging and discussion to be tailored to individuals and small groups, as staff respond to questions and address concerns about breast reconstruction; these activities serve as a means to identify women with interest in receiving further assistance or referrals. O&E is conducted where the target audiences work, worship or play (recreation).
Developed evidence-based and effective strategies to engage at-risk communities is a tall task in a county. The “out of the box” thinking and the formulation of creative and cost-effective strategies to attract the participation of individuals through social engagement activities hosted by faith-based organizations, salons, barbershops and local chapters of national civic organizations where African Americans convene.
TGF’s 14 year track record of success developing and implementing social marketing and outreach programs that facilitate early detection through screenings, and direct linkages to treatment, are a testament to the agency’s effectiveness.
The agency’s use of social engagement activities, incorporates standards and best practices for engaged learning,* as well as support groups and individual follow-up related to specific events to encourage and support positive behavior and lifestyle choices. TGF’s service delivery model is designed as an “outreach and engagement system” – built with a core group of collaborative partners with existing programs and services, or direct access to African American individuals, families and communities in identifiable regions.
The agency coordinates marketing and outreach activities with participation of ParaMinistry, Heal Thy Family programs at churches and faith-based organizations and 2) Community Health Ambassadors – university interns 3) Breast Health Advocates (Volunteers & Breast Cancer Survivors 4) Community-based organizations –civic, county, state and national organizations 5) Disease specific organizations 6) Long-standing community partners with shared goals
The program and service model has provided TGF with the additional, qualified “hands on deck” to assist with outreach, education and follow-up without the corresponding increase in personnel expenses.