Project Community is a national public health initiative established by the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence to introduce the work of FDA oncologists (cancer doctors) and hematologists (blood disease specialists) to people living in communities across the nation and “beyond the beltway.” Our primary audience includes patients living with cancer, survivors, advocates, and families, especially people living in underserved or under-represented urban and rural communities who are at greater cancer risk.
Project Community’s Main Objectives
- Increasing minority participation in clinical trials
- Increasing knowledge and minority participation in genetic databases
- Leading National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week, #BlackFamCan
OCE Project Community is engaging NCI-designated Cancer Centers, cancer advocacy groups, patients, social and community organizers, families, and friends. With this in mind, Project Community produced the following 3-minute video called "Precision Medicine" (Precision Oncology) encouraging healthy people and patients to help advance cancer research. The video can be viewed below.
National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week 2022
Save the Date: June 16 through June 22, 2022 for OCE Project Community’s second annual National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week, #BlackFamCan. This initiative aims to increase cancer awareness in one of the most vulnerable segments of the US population. We invite you to visit National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week to learn more and download our social media toolkit.
Project Community Outreach
Project Community Chicago, IL
More than 100 Chicago-area residents attended the Project Community meeting during Black History Month organized in conjunction with PeerPlus Education and Training Associates and the University of Illinois Patient Brigade. “Community Engagement with the Community in Mind: A Conversation about the Facts, Figures, and Diversity in Oncology” was well-attended. The meeting was designed as an opportunity to educate underserved and under-represented community members about the need to increase cancer clinical trial enrollment and oncology precision medicine genomic database contributions by minority ethnic groups.
Project Community audiences will be asked to provide input to better shape Oncology Center of Excellence patient engagement efforts and build a more patient-centered vision for the future. Examples of Project Community’s 2019 bi-coastal external outreach include:
Project Community Oakland, CA
Leading a community-based town hall conversation entitled “The Benefits of Genetic Research” where community members were intent on capturing the information Oncology Cener of Excellence oncologists/hematologists discussed. The meeting took place at the Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, CA.
Project Community Orangeburg, SC
Participating in a community meeting collaboration with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) during a “MOVENUP Train the Trainer” cancer education session at the Williams Chapel AME Church in Orangeburg, SC.
Meet the Team
Rea Blakey is the Associate Director for External Outreach and Engagement for the Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE). Rea leads OCE’s Project Community initiative which encompasses all interested cancer community stakeholders as well as focusing on increasing minority and under-represented population awareness and participation in cancer clinical trials. She also leads Project Community’s National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week initiative begun in June 2021.
Ms. Blakey joined the Immediate Office of the FDA OCE in July 2018. Before coming to FDA, her career centered on TV dissemination of public health information. She reported on air as a CNN Medical Correspondent, hosted medical programs at Discovery Channel, and worked 13+ years as a News Anchor and Health Reporter at Washington, DC’s WJLA-TV, winning two Emmy Awards. Ms. Blakey was also once the Director of Communication at GW Medical Faculty Associates in Washington, DC.
Ginneh Stowe is a Senior Regulatory Project Manager on the Oncology Program Project Management Team in the Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE). She works in collaboration with OCE leadership to provide essential information related to regulatory issues and medical products to external stakeholders in the oncology community. She earned her undergraduate degree from Hampton University and a Master of Science degree from Georgetown University. She is also alumni of a W.K. Kellogg Fellowship at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, earned a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from The George Washington University, and is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt. She has a proven record in health communication, public health, and healthcare policy and management.
Connect With Us!
Download & Print Project Community “Cancer Q & A” Brochures:
Multiple Myeloma two-pager (349KB PDF)
Multiple Myeloma trifold brochure (3.21MB PDF)
What is Precision Oncology? (2.6MB PDF)
FDA Resources for Patients Living with Cancer and Advocates
FDA offers many online resources for patients and consumers interested in learning more about cancer clinical trials. Several informative pages are also available through the FDA Office of Minority Health and Health Equity links under Cancer.
COVID-19 Listening Sessions
The Oncology Center of Excellence recognized the opportunity to conduct unique external outreach engagements originating soon after the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. OCE reached out to oncology stakeholders with COVID-19 Guidance Listening Sessions to better understand COVID-related experiences and the pandemic’s impact on cancer patients, advocacy groups and oncology product development. The goal was two-fold: listen directly to cancer patient communities during difficult times and better inform OCE’s mission of achieving patient-centered regulatory decision-making through innovation and collaboration. OCE COVID-19 Guidance Listening Sessions occurred with 11 patient, advocacy, and community groups:
LUNGevity: April 17, 2020
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network: April 20, 2020
Fight Colorectal Cancer: April 21, 2020
Project Community Stakeholders: April 24, 2020
National Brain Tumor Society: May 1, 2020
Cancer and Aging Research Group: May 5, 2020
AACR Scientist Survivor Program: May 27, 2020
Melanoma Research Alliance: June 4, 2020
National Organization of Rare Diseases: June 6, 2020
National Breast Cancer Coalition: June 9, 2020
Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance: September 14, 2020
Does Your Community Organization Work with Cancer Researchers?
Certain groups working in cancer health equity and special populations are encouraged to explore OCE Scientific Interest Areas in the FDA Broad Agency Announcement . They include, but aren’t limited to:
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU),
- Minority Institutions (MI),
- Small Business concerns,
- Small Disadvantaged Business concerns,
- Women-Owned Small Business concerns,
- Veteran-Owned Small Business concerns,
- Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business concerns,
- and HUB Zone Small Business concerns
If your cancer research organization is interested, see OCE’s Scientific Collaborative opportunities.