Theatre monologues, art car help promote cancer awareness and nutrition education

Encouraging cancer awareness in a city as diverse as Houston requires a range of educational tools and cultural understanding. From its Theatre Outreach Program to an art car promoting healthy diets, the Office of Outreach and Health Disparities in Baylor College of Medicine’s NCI-designated Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center has been committed to ensuring the diverse and underserved populations of Houston and Harris Country receive the latest information about cancer prevention and treatment.

The Theatre Outreach Program consists of nine monologues aimed at one of three underserved demographics within Harris County, including African-American, Hispanic and Vietnamese. The monologues address breast cancer, cervical cancer and colorectal cancer, and are accompanied by program information and healthcare offerings at area clinics. The Office of Outreach and Health Disparities is developing a tenth monologue addressing the HPV vaccine, geared toward Hispanic parents.

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From mid-September 2014 through December 2015, the Office of Outreach and Health Disparities hosted 55 monologues and six full-length plays in Harris County, which were attended by a total of 2,357 people.

“It is important to use innovative approaches to reach your communities in a way that is familiar and entertaining to them,” said Dr. Maria Jibaja-Weiss, director of the Office of Outreach and Health Disparities. “We have such a diverse population in Houston, and our goal is to raise awareness and show these patients where to start in the health system, and where they can obtain quality services.”

The Office of Outreach and Health Disparities also partners with the Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions to create Toni the Healthy Eating Cart, an art car promoting healthy diets. The car, which is on display at the annual Houston Art Car Parade, is decorated like a fruit stand to demonstrate the power of nutrition and healthy eating habits.

Additional Resources

Learn more about the Office of Outreach and Health Disparities educational programs.

Visit the Office of Outreach and Health Disparities website.

View photos of Toni the Healthy Eating Cart at the Houston Art Car Parade

Baylor College of Medicine has joined the Houston Chronicle in celebrating Houston’s history in a six-month retrospective project. This story is part of an ongoing feature that can be found on our website. Now through October, we’ll be highlighting our shared history, events, outreach and more with the community.

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