In 2021, the NCI issued updated guidance clarifying the mission and organizational structure for Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) for Cancer Center Support Grants. These guidelines outlined how cancer centers should address the cancer burden of the catchment area (CA) and define how COE would partner with the community to inform cancer research and implement programs to reduce the cancer burden. In this paper, the Common Elements Committee of the Population Science Working Group in the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium describes their respective approaches to implementing these guidelines. We discuss our definitions and rationales for each CA, data sources used, and our approach to assessing the impact of COE efforts on the burden of cancer in our respective CA. Importantly, we describe methods of translating unmet CA needs into our cancer-relevant outreach activities, and cancer research addressing the needs of respective CAs. Implementing these new guidelines is a challenge, and we hope that sharing approaches and experiences will foster cross-center collaborations that may more effectively reduce the burden of cancer in the US and meet the mission of the NCI’s Cancer Center Program.
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