For this month’s Volunteer of the Month, we proudly recognize 76 women who have volunteered their time to be Community Health Advisors. In these roles they will share the important message of early detection and start a dialogue with other women about the many breast health resources available in the community through Komen grant programs and other resources in Central Ohio. We applaud these dedicated women and thank them for joining us in our mission to end breast cancer forever.
On August 2nd, 2012, Komen Columbus launched its Komen Community Health Advisor (KCHA) training program, with the generous support of KeyBank. Seventy-six women generously donated their time, taking a day off of work (in many cases unpaid,) to attend the training. They showed love for their communities by spending the day learning and talking about breast cancer and are now trained to educate their friends, family, co-workers, churches and neighbors about the disease. Their outreach will focus on the African American population, as breast cancer causes more deaths among African American women than any other ethnic group.
The program aims to improve access to quality breast health services for uninsured, low-income and medically underserved women in the Central Ohio area. The new health advisors were armed with breast health education messaging, as well as information about the health care resources that are available in the community through Komen-funded programs and other resources in Central Ohio.
Over the next year, the KCHAs will hold breast health education sessions with their various networks, with the goal of each advisor educating at least 100 women. The trainers have materials and training tools and have the potential to educate more than 7,500 women about breast cancer. The KCHAs will connect many of these women in need of care to Komen Columbus, who will help them get the screenings, education and treatment services they need.
“Our mission is to end breast cancer forever and the grant from KeyBank Foundation, along with the tireless work of the community advisors, will take us one step closer to reaching those underserved and uninsured in our community,” said Katie Carter, executive director of the Komen Columbus Affiliate. “We are excited to honor this group of women as our Volunteers of the Month because they’re truly making an impact in our community.”
This access and support is desperately needed, and these brave and generous women have dedicated themselves as foot soldiers in the fight against breast cancer. They are a special group of women representing local churches, community centers, clinics, sororities and businesses.
The community health advisor initiative will grow during 2012 and 2013 to train more than 500 advisors in 18 cities including Columbus, as well as Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo in Ohio; Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse in New York; Indianapolis; Denver; Bonita Springs, FL.; Tacoma, Bellevue and Bellingham in Washington, and Portland, OR.
Congratulations to all 76 of our new community health advisors!