UNMC offers free workshop for high school teachers on cancer prevention

by Liz Kumru
September 08, 2017

Image with file name: Silva_Barros.jpg

Omaha area high school teachers are encouraged to learn about cancer prevention and how to integrate it into the school curriculum during a free workshop at the University of Nebraska Medical Center on Sept. 15.

Two international cancer experts will present an all-day Cancer Prevention Education Workshop, sponsored by a small grant - "Breast cancer educate to prevent" - from the Susan G. Komen organization, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at UNMC’s College of Public Health, Rooms 3001 and 3009.

Filipe Silva, Ph.D., and Ana Barros, Ph.D., of Porto, Portugal, will share how they integrated cancer prevention into high school curriculum in Portugal.

For the past two years, they have worked with Denise Britigan, Ph.D., assistant professor, health promotion, UNMC College of Public Health, and Benson High School Magnet teachers to develop a pilot course for their health professions academy track.

The course began last year and teaches the importance of cancer screenings for skin, breast, cervical, lung and colon cancers, of which 80 percent are preventable; how diet and exercise prevents cancer; cancer statistics and the geographic location of cancer pockets; and what happens when a family member or friend gets cancer.

The workshop’s keynote speaker will be Abeena Brewster, M.D., a tenured professor of clinical cancer prevention at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She is a medical oncologist in MD Anderson’s Nellie B. Connally Breast Center and her clinical interest is the management of breast cancer. She has experience in the conduct and data management of hospital and population based cohort studies and is the principal investigator and director of a longitudinal cohort study of women at high risk of developing breast cancer.

An afternoon panel discussion about the future of cancer prevention education will feature UNMC’s Edibaldo Silva-Lopez, M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgical oncology, and Maurice Godfrey, Ph.D., professor in the Munroe-Meyer Institute, as well as speakers from the Omaha Public Schools and local community.

Attendees may participate in a walking tour of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center and view the center’s healing arts video at 4 p.m.

Registration is required by Sept. 13 and is limited to 60 people. For more information, go to https://goo.gl/forms/nvaBuGyeqg6wptJX2

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About the organizers

Filipe Silva, Ph.D., is a guest researcher at the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center. In Portugal he leads the Public Awareness of Cancer Unit of the Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto, and also coordinates the Communication Unit of i3S -Institute for Research and Innovation in Health.

He has successfully led different projects of basic research and health education funded by Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology and by the Harvard Medical School-Portugal Program. He conceived and currently directs "Healthy Youth through Prevention Education" an innovative cancer education program in Portugal and in the U.S. funded by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Komen Great Plains.

Ana Barros, Ph.D., was a post-doctoral research associate in the College of Public Health at UNMC before becoming a post-doc researcher at the Communication Unit of the Institute for Research and Innovation in Health. Her areas of research and teaching skills include health education and health literacy applied to such chronic diseases as cancer.

She has been working on the development of cancer education contents for different populations as well as evaluation protocols for cancer education interventions. 

Her past experience was focused on content production for students and teachers on genetics and molecular biology as a fellow on different projects and as a biology teacher at the high school level. She is a member of several cancer education associations and is a reviewer for the Journal of Cancer Education.