WINCART was founded in May 2005 and serves the approximately 100,000 Pacific Islanders who reside in Southern California, defined as the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, San Bernardino, and San Diego. Our mission is to reduce the disproportionate burden from cancer affecting five of the largest Southern California Pacific Islander populations: Chamorros, Marshallese, Native Hawaiians, Samoans and Tongans.
WINCART's mission is to promote healthy Pacific Islander communities. WINCART addresses cancer health disparities among Southern California's Pacific Islander populations through increasing cancer awareness, collaborative research programs, and providing valuable leadership and training opportunities. The specific aims for our network are:
- Develop and implement programs to increase cancer awareness among Pacific Islanders from primarily five populations in Southern California: Chamorros, Marshallese, Native Hawaiians, Samoans, and Tongans.
- Understand and address smoking cessation needs of young Pacific Islander adults.
- Explore community knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding biospecimen collection and research.
- Create opportunities to increase the number of well-trained Pacific Islander researchers through trainings, mentorship, and participatory research projects.
- Facilitate the development of research grants that address the cancer needs of Pacific Islanders, with a focus on primary (obesity and tobacco) prevention, access and navigation, and survivorship.
Pacific Islanders are the ethnic people who have their origins in one of three areas of the Pacific Ocean: Polynesians (including Native Hawaiian, Samoan, and Tongans), Micronesian (including Chamorros, Chuukese, and Palauans), or Melanesian (including Fijians). According to the 2000 Census, there were 874,414 Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders living in the United states (alone or in combination with one or more other races), with California second only to Hawaii in the number of Pacific Islanders. Approximately half of California's 221,458 Pacific Islander population reside in the Southern California counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, San Bernardino, and San Diego.
Cancer is the leading cause of death among Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States, with some of the largest disparities (in cancer incidence and mortality) affecting Pacific Islanders. For instance, Asian and Pacific Islander women are the only U.S. population group to experience an overall increase in cancer mortality for all cancers combined between 1990 and 1995 (National Council for Health Statistics, 1996). Native Hawaiians have the third highest cancer mortality rates of all sites (Shinagawa, 1999). Despite these facts, data on the cancer needs of Pacific Islanders are largely lacking.
The WINCART network strives to serve all Pacific Islanders who live in Southern California. Since we are still in the early stages of our network, our activities focus on the five largest Pacific Islander poplations: Chamorros, Marshallese, Native Hawaiians, Samoans and Tongans. In the future, we hope to expand our collaborative to include our many other ethnic Pacific Islander populations.
Pacific Islanders in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties (Maps using Census 2000 data):
WINCART is guided by a Steering Committee comprised of representatives from Pacific Islander community-based organizations, cancer-related researchers, and cancer clinical providers in Southern California.
WINCART is one of 25 Community Network Programs funded by the Nattional Cancer Institute's (NCI) Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD). The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NCI CRCHD.