Sun Safe Workplaces Technology & the Cancer Moonshot Initiative

Savanna Olivas - Wednesday, 2 August 2017 09:20

Klein Buendel has been awarded a new research project as part of the National Cancer Institute’s Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative. The project, Sun Safe Workplaces-Technology (SSW-T) is being led by Dr. David Buller and Dr. Barbara Walkosz.NCI logoThe Cancer Moonshot aims to accelerate cancer research in order to make more therapies available to patients, while also improving the ability to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage. Funding for the Cancer Moonshot was established in December 2016 when the U.S. Senate approved the 21st Century Cures Act and it was signed into law by President Obama. The cancer portion of the law was renamed the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot in honor of Vice-President Joe Biden’s son, who passed away from brain cancer in May 2015.

As part of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, SSW-T will investigate a scaled-up version of Sun Safe Workplaces, an occupational sun safety program that achieved large improvements in comprehensive workplace sun safety (i.e., worksite sun safety policy adoption and employee education) in a randomized controlled trial with 98 public employers. Scaling up evidence-based programs is essential for achieving long-term health benefits and critical given national and local resource investment in public health programs. This is especially crucial for programs that educate and convince outdoor workers to practice sun protection because of their chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation, the primary cause of skin cancer.


In SSW-T, the delivery methods of Sun Safe Workplaces that relied on interpersonal contact with managers, promotional materials, and employee training will be compared to a lower-cost dissemination method that utilizes technology to deliver the same program. The technology-based program (SSW-T) will employ the latest web conferencing, social media, and training technologies to support virtual networks of managers and training of employees about sun safety practices and policy adoption in their workplace.

Firefighter from CDC

SSW-T’s specific aims are to estimate the reach and implementation rates (i.e., adoption of policies and delivery of education on occupational sun protection) achieved by the original Sun Safe Workplaces approach and SSW-T in a model of national distribution to public safety and public works industries. It will also estimate the costs associated with each delivery method and compare the estimated program benefits to cost, while also estimating the effect and cost-effectiveness in secondary outcomes of changes in workplace environments, procedures for sun safety, and workers’ sun safety practices. These outcomes will contribute to our understanding of methods for scaling up evidence-based programs from research to wide-scale dissemination to help balance effectiveness and cost.


The project Principal Investigators at Klein Buendel will be joined by Co-Investigators Ms. Mary Klein Buller from Klein Buendel, Dr. Allan Wallis from the School of Public Administration at the University of Colorado Denver, Dr. Richard Meenan from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research, and Dr. Sherry Pagoto from the University of Connecticut Medical School. Dr. Gary Cutter from Pythagoras, Inc. will be the project Biostatistician. Klein Buendel’s Creative Team will design and develop the interactive technology for the project.

This project has been funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (RO1CA210259; D. Buller & B. Walkosz, PIs).



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