Community Advisory Boards

Stephenson Cancer Center (SCC) recognizes that the large and growing American Indian (AI), Black/African American and Hispanic communities in Oklahoma have distinct histories, cultural assets, resources, and cancer-related concerns. In addition to an Overall Community Advisory Board (OCAB), Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) established three unique CABs representing these groups: Tribal Advisory Council (TAC), African American Cancer Research CAB (AACRCAB), and Hispanic CAB (HCAB). In these forums, members can voice cancer-related and research concerns affecting their communities. To ensure that perspectives from the TAC, AACRCAB and HCAB are represented, the OCAB includes two members from each.

OCAB: The OCAB consists of 14 members, including two members each from the TAC, AACRCAB and HCAB. It also includes representatives from healthcare systems, OSDH, ACS, the Komen Foundation, and higher education institutions in Oklahoma. The OCAB ensures that the SCC responds to the entire OKCA by:

  1. Providing recommendations to enhance, promote and develop programs related to cancer prevention, early detection and survivorship.
  2. Identifying educational pathways for future cancer researchers, focusing on students from historically underrepresented communities, rural locations and females.
  3. Identifying and assisting in initiatives to implement changes that reduce barriers for communities, patients and referral sources.
  4. Fostering access to services that will reduce cancer disparities through improved communication among community members, clinicians, healthcare administrators, and researchers.

TAC: As domestic sovereign nations, tribes have unique federal-tribal issues to consider, of which many researchers are unaware, in conducting research and outreach. The SCC established the TAC in 2020 to obtain community guidance regarding the respectful conduct of research and outreach with tribal nations, citizens, and healthcare delivery systems. Meeting quarterly, the TAC has 10 AI members from the OKCA, including a tribal president, Southern Plains Tribal Health Board Tribal Epidemiology Center members, tribal health workers and staff, tribal and IHS IRB staff, and other key stakeholders in indigenous health and research.

AACRCAB: COE’s growth includes increased engagement with Black/AA communities in the OKCA. COE assembled a Black/AA cancer research workgroup in 2020. The workgroup cultivated partnerships with predominately Black/AA churches, businesses, and educational institutions, especially in Oklahoma City, which has a large Black/AA community. The AACRCAB provides SCC researchers and clinicians with insights into the conduct of research with Black/AA communities and individuals. The AACRCAB has helped to facilitate the engagement of COE health educators and community outreach coordinators and SCC researchers with the Black/AA community focusing on cancer awareness and screening. The AACRCAB includes a representative from Langston University, the only historically black college or university in Oklahoma, a former high school teacher, and a state legislator. AACRCAB members work directly with the SCC’s ETCE and DEI Cores to develop educational pathways for Black/AA students.

HCAB: The Hispanic population is the most rapidly growing population in OK. The SCC is building partnerships with federally qualified health centers, county and state public health departments, and community organizations to increase visibility and access to vaccinations, evidence-based cancer screenings, and treatment services for this community. SCC employs bilingual clinical trials staff to facilitate patient participation in research. Although SCC clinicians increasingly engage with Hispanic patients, formal structures to engage cancer researchers with the community were needed. In response, COE established a Hispanic workgroup in 2021. It consists of 20 community members representing health care systems, educational institutions, businesses, faith-based organizations and other community stakeholders.

Contact Information

If you are interested in finding out more information, please contact the Community Outreach and Engagement Core staff at

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