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.
Breast Health Advocate Training
We train women to serve as breast health advocates in their churches and other faith-based institutions. The breast health advocates role includes educating congregation members about breast cancer generally and specifically the disparities faced by black women; implementing programs within their churches or communities to help women reduce their personal risk for breast cancer; connecting women with resources to access breast cancer screenings, diagnostic tests and treatment services; and providing emotional support for women through their breast cancer experience. Breast Health Advocates also plan and conduct Pink Sunday Celebrations in partnership with Pink-4-Ever, Inc. Click here for information about the next training.
Stay Alert, Stay Alive Breast Health Summit
The Breast Health Summit is an annual event offering educational workshops for community members and health providers and a Health & Wellness Expo featuring health screenings, connections to services to help individuals and their families handle health problems and take-away tools to encourage healthy lifestyle choices and cancer prevention. The focus of the 2018 Summit was on the importance of African American participation in breast cancer research and featured a keynote presentation by the granddaughter and sister-in-law of Henrietta Lacks, who has been called the most important woman in medical history. The book and HBO movie, the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, tells the story of her cells, taken during a biopsy for cervical cancer in 1951. Those cells became the first immortal human cell line—the cells reproduce infinitely in a lab. Henrietta Lacks’ cell line revolutionized modern medicine and has led to some of the most important medical advances of all time, including the polio vaccine, chemotherapy, cloning and gene mapping.
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.