Forum on art and health

A network of Harris County academic institutions, public health systems and community service organizations, including the NCI-designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine, will host an educational forum March 24 on how to use various art forms to promote important health messages. 

The network, which also includes The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, the Harris County Hospital District, Hope Through Grace, Hope Clinic, American Cancer Society and Neighborhood Centers Inc. was established through a recent grant from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas to reach the medically underserved with colorectal and cervical cancer education and screening.

With an established successful arts-based health program, The Duncan Cancer Center’s Office of Outreach and Health Disparities is a key player in this network. 

Elements of its program include hosting community plays that educate Hispanics and African-Americans about their risk and the importance of colorectal cancer screening, an online “tele-novela” program that guides Hispanic women from breast cancer diagnosis through treatment and the Houston Art Car collaboration with the Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions to promote healthy eating. 

“This educational strategy is called ‘edutainment’ or entertainment education,” said Dr. Maria Jibaja-Weiss, director of the Office of Outreach. “It has been very well received in our community as a way of communicating these important messages to reduce disparities.” 

Free and open to the public, the Houston Forum for Arts in Health will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the United Way of Greater Houston Community Resource Center, 50 Waugh Drive. Free parking is available.

It will be held March 24 from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the United Way of Greater Houston Community Resource Center, 50 Waugh Drive, 77007.  Free parking is available on-site. 

For more information, contact Lidia Porto at 713-798-1124.

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