COLUMBUS, Ohio – Cancer Support Community Central Ohio is pleased to announce that Karriejoi Coit has joined its team as health equity manager. Coit has been a concierge to the underserved population for over 10 years. Her passion as an advocate for disadvantage communities shows up in her results-driven work to educate, navigate, and coordinate community resource for those in need. Her skill set includes collaborative team building, development of diversity and inclusive programming, grant writing, project management, strategic planning, researching, and fundraising.
Coit has a proven track record of providing connections to evidence-based care, measuring the outcomes of clients’ health, and addressing social determinants of health for clients while educating and increasing their self-sufficiency. Most recently, Coit was the executive director of Unity Community Center in Delaware.
Coit will lead Cancer Support Community’s work to improve health equity for cancer patients and survivors in central Ohio by addressing risk factors that result in higher mortality from certain cancers among African Americans. The goal of this work is to improve overall health outcomes for Black cancer patients and survivors as well as their caregivers and family members.
“I’m excited to be part of the team at Cancer Support Community Central Ohio,” said Coit. “Everyone deserves the best possible care when facing a cancer diagnosis, no matter their income, race, or any other factor. That includes support for emotional concerns in a community that provides care for the whole person.”
Initially, Cancer Support Community will focus on determining the needs of community members in certain parts of central Ohio. According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer health disparities – such as higher cancer death rates, less frequent use of proven screening tests, and higher rates of advanced cancer diagnoses— are frequently seen in people from low socio-economic groups, certain racial and ethnic populations, and those who live in geographically isolated areas. Considering the effects of social determinants of health, program efforts will have particular emphasis on those neighborhoods where there are the highest social needs based on income, housing, food insecurity, and education.
“We will be asking Black cancer survivors and caregivers to share their cancer experiences through a survey designed by Cancer Support Community’s Research & Training Institute,” Coit offered. The survey, called the Cancer Experience Registry, is a confidential online tool that collects information about the physical, emotional, social, practical, and functional aspects of the cancer experience from the survivor and caregiver perspective. It is a vehicle for survivors and caregivers to share their voices about issues that matter to them throughout the cancer journey.
Coit remarked, “Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It is time that the BIPOC population share their voices with the research community so we can do a better job of addressing their needs. Health equity has many forms, just like our communities.”
Survey data will be analyzed by researchers at the RTI and shared locally to inform the development of specific programming. “Based on the issues and needs identified through the survey, we will create and customize programming to help people address concerns and ultimately improve health outcomes,” Coit noted.
The mission of Cancer Support Community Central Ohio is to ensure that all people affected by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. Cancer Support Community programs serve all people living with any type or stage of cancer, from diagnosis through survivorship. We play a vital role in the lives of individuals, families, and caregivers as they navigate the cancer experience by providing education and a community of support.
Submitted by the Cancer Support Community Central Ohio.