Promoting Breast Cancer Screening Among Women of Color in the National Capital Area

The National Capital Area Breast Health Quality Consortium (BHQC) is a multi-year project, led by the Primary Care Coalition (PCC)’s Breast Health Initiative. The goal of the BHQC is to identify and reduce racial/ethnic disparities in breast health service delivery in the DC Metro Area, particularly for safety-net patients. In 2015 and 2016, the PCC conducted focus groups to explore breast cancer screening beliefs and behaviors among: 1) African American women 2); Latinas; 3) Chinese American women; and 4) Muslim women.  PCC then shared the results and conducted in-depth interviews with patient navigators experienced in serving women of color throughout the National Capital Area.

  • To read the findings from the African American focus groups, click here.
  • To read the findings from the Latina focus groups, click here.
  • To read the findings from the Chinese American focus groups, click here.
  • To read the findings from the Muslima focus groups, click here.

Summary of Overlapping Findings Across All Focus Groups


“What are the best ways to encourage women in your community to pursue breast cancer screening?”

Focus group participants recommended the following:


Patient Navigator Recommendations to Improve Screening Rates in the National Capital Area

  • Increase flexibility in appointment scheduling, especially for safety-net clinic patients.
  • Increase the availability of patient support resources, such transportation and child care support.
  • Employ community health workers and lay navigators that represent the patients you serve to deepen provider-patient relationships and establish a community presence.
  • Mail written appointment reminders to patients at regular intervals.
  • Increase availability of in-person translation assistance for West African and East Asian languages.
  • Prior to beginning the exam, the mammography technologist should educate the patient about why their breast is being “squeezed”.