IU Precision Health Initiative Partnership
Through this partnership we collaborate with Indiana University School of Medicine and IU Simon Cancer Center researchers to identify why African American women with breast cancer are experiencing poorer health outcomes, to promote African American participation in research and to develop better health care, treatment and prevention strategies for African American women. The partnership includes a commitment between the R.E.D. Alliance, IU and Pink-4-Ever, Inc. , to co-develop and distribute breast health educational materials specifically designed to reach African American audiences.
Research about the intersection of spirituality and health cites spirituality as an influential factor in the breast cancer experience for African American women. Also religious participation has been linked to improved quality of life, health status and mortality risk in African Americans. We offer faith-based institutions the opportunity to partner with us to address the breast health needs of their members, while also helping to solve the critical health issue of breast cancer disparities. We train women to serve as Breast Health Advocates within their churches and communities. The advocate responsibilities include: making breast health educational materials available to congregation members; conducting breast health awareness programs at their places of worship and promoting other breast cancer awareness and education events; encouraging women to get appropriate breast screenings and tests; connecting women to resources to access affordable and timely breast health services; and providing emotional support to women during their breast cancer experience. Send us an email (email@example.com) for more information about this initiative and the next Breast Health Advocate training.
Stay Alert, Stay Alive Breast Health Summit
The Breast Health Summit is our annual outreach and education initiative, bringing together healthcare professionals, community members, survivors, caregivers, advocates and policy makers for a day of learning and engagement. The Summit offers educational workshops for community members and health providers on the latest research and initiatives aimed at improving healthcare access and delivery of services and to eliminate health disparities. In 2019 we expanded the Summit to a two-day event, kicking-it off with a special edition of the S.I.S. Power Party with our partner, Pink-4-Ever, Inc. Breast cancer survivors and caregivers enjoyed an evening of fun, fellowship and pampering. By popular demand, the Friday night Power Party will become a part of the annual Summit.
The Summit also includes a Health & Wellness Expo with health screenings, connections to resources and take-away tools to encourage healthy lifestyle choices and cancer prevention. The most popular feature of the Expo is our “God’s Pharmacy” where we create a farmer’s market style area and give away fruits, vegetables and other healthy food items, along with recipes and information about the health benefits of natural foods from God’s creation.
Sisters Inspired to Stand (S.I.S.) Breast Cancer Support Group
Several studies cite lack of social support as a personal barrier during African American women’s breast cancer experience. In our Town Hall conversations family members and other caregivers said they desired social support with others who “look like them” or who have similar challenges.Lack of social support and emotional outlets can have significant mental health effects and sometimes produce more negative health outcomes. We have partnered with Pink-4-Ever, Inc. to establish the S.I.S. Support Group. S.I.S. offers support, encouragement and empowerment to breast cancer survivors and their caregivers. The monthly S.I.S. “Power Parties” feature survivors and caregivers sharing helpful tips for thriving through treatment and survivorship, fun activities, education and connections to resources. Find out more on our events page or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and join us at the next Power Party.
Although eliminating the breast cancer death rate disparity for African American women will require a variety of systemic interventions, we believe one place to start is for every woman to know her personal breast cancer risk and to encourage women to take action to reduce their breast cancer risk. Look for our Hands-Up banner at health fairs and community events and make your personal commitment to reduce your breast cancer risk.
Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health Research Project
We are partners in a study exploring the experiences of African American women in Indianapolis with diagnosis, treatment and recovery from breast cancer. Study participants must be African American, at least 21 years old, have been diagnosed with breast cancer within the past 3 months and planning to receive treatment other than surgery alone (such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy). The voices of African American women are important as we work with researchers to identify the challenges and barriers they face during their cancer journey and to implement solutions to improve their experiences and outcomes. For more information about the study or to see if you are a good match for the study, go Here
Community Health Partnerships (CHeP) Trailblazer Award
With this award we are partnering with researchers from the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering (RCHE) at Purdue University Purdue University to study disparities in breast cancer mortality between non-Hispanic black women and white women in Indianapolis urban area. This study focuses on identifying variabilities in processes for black breast cancer patients seeking diagnosis and treatment services and to understand what leads to them. The ultimate goal of this research project is to set target performance and achieve systemic improvement in the process of seeking and receiving care. This project is funded, in part, by the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and the Indiana State Department of Health.