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Rural Cancer Collaboratory

Our vision is for all Iowans to have access to high-quality, coordinated cancer care no matter where they live, and for all cancer care providers in Iowa to have access to the resources and support they need to provide high-quality, comprehensive, and coordinated cancer care. 

Our mission is to optimize outcomes for rural Iowans across the cancer control spectrum from prevention and screening through treatment and survivorship.

The Iowa Rural Cancer Collaboratory was formed by clinicians and researchers with the following shared goals to:

  1. Better understand the challenges and needs of health care professions providing cancer-related care to rural populations.
  2. Extend resources to rural providers/hospitals throughout Iowa.
  3. Facilitate the spread of best practices between rural hospitals.
  4. Engage rural providers/hospitals in research designed to address the challenges of providing rural cancer care.

The Power of Working Together

Regardless of health system affiliation, cancer care providers and hospitals in Iowa can work together to ensure that all rural cancer patients can access the care that best aligns with their goals without having to travel further than they or their family can manage. Also, connecting clinicians and researchers can lead to new strategies and resources specifically designed to address the challenges faced by rural patients and their providers.

The Power of Data

The Iowa Rural Collaboratory works closely with the statewide Iowa Cancer Registry, which captures data on all cancers diagnosed in Iowa. Aggregate data can be shared back with hospitals to help with planning, benchmarking, and quality improvement efforts. In addition, data collected through research studies can be used to develop innovative approaches tailored to the needs of rural health care settings.

The Power of Rural

While there are undoubtedly unique and formidable challenges to providing cancer-related care in rural settings, there are no doubt strengths and advantages in rural communities. Data can be used to describe the advantages and to provide evidence for the benefits of receiving care locally. This is a major gap in the scientific literature.