#NBCAM Komen Kansas City Grantee:
Coalition of Hispanic Women Against Cancer | Success Stories
By Morgan Cimpl, Community Health Intern
Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City
The Coalition of Hispanic Women Against Cancer (COHWAC) have attended 11 community events where they interacted with approximately 1,000 individuals. They have referred 21 women to receive a mammogram at St. Luke’s Health Centers and are waiting for the approval of 12 more. Additionally, COHWAC connected 36 women to the Early Detection Works Program (EDW) for mammography screening in Kansas. COHWAC partnered with EDW, Dr. Yolanda Huet-Vaughn, and Leavenworth Kansas Imaging, to host a clinical breast exam and mammogram screening event on September 28 where 21 women were recruited by the Coalition. Their Spanish speaking support group has continued successfully; each month they have 7 women who come to talk, share, and be heard in a comfortable and safe place. Women have shared with COHWAC that this group is where they can freely express themselves and get support from others who have had similar experiences. Recruitment for the support group is ongoing.
COHWAC’s lay health educator model has proven to be successful with the target community and is well-received. For example, while COHWAC could easily have classes with only experts in the field and provide language interpretation services, they would miss an opportunity to really connect with women. Their lay health educators are individuals who are from the target community, they are passionate about helping others, and they demonstrate kindness and compassion for those they serve. They speak the language of the target community and share culture, norms, and values that facilitate a very special connection. COHWAC values its expert speakers and collaborators; however, the lay health educator model adds a layer of connectedness that is demonstrating to be a best practice for our community.
Mrs. Romero, who is a breast cancer survivor, is so thankful for the support group, she shared with us, that when her daughter told her about the support group she did not want to come, she said “ what can the support group do for me”, she was feeling sad, alone and with too much pain because of the treatment, but her daughter insisted so much that she finally convinced her, now after the first session, she told us that she doesn’t feel alone anymore, she is more positive about her cancer diagnosis. She just finished her treatment and she feels so happy about it. “[The] Support [group] has changed my life; I know that I am a survivor now, thanks”
Coalition of Hispanic Women Against Cancer // Mujeres Ayundando Mujeres (MAM) “Women Helping Women” // A grant for $34,798
The Coalition of Hispanic Women against Cancer provides a comprehensive breast cancer program to increase awareness and knowledge among Latinas about breast cancer prevention, early detection, cancer screenings, and available community resources. The program will conduct community presentations to Latina women, attend community outreach events, navigate women to resources and host a Spanish-support group for breast cancer survivors. Find out more about Coalition of Hispanic Women against Cancer at http://www.chwac.org.