CITY OF JACKSON, MS
Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr.

Mayor Supports Outreach through State Legislative Initiatives and Local Fund-Raising

Seeing the need for institutional backing of breast cancer awareness outreach, Mayor Harvey Johnson has placed priority on getting supportive state laws enacted. During the past year his administration worked with the state legislature, helping to document the need for the following pieces of legislation that are now law:

Senate Bill 2215: "An act to require certain individual and group health insurance policies and plans to offer coverage for diabetes treatments, child immunization, and annual screenings by low-dose mammography for the presence of breast cancer; and for related purposes."

House Bill 1735: "An act making an appropriation for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the State Department of Health for the Fiscal Year 1999." This bill positions the State Department of Health to match support funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will allow the State Department of Health to provide free mammograms to the underserved.

Collaboration with American Cancer Society

Mayor Johnson also has built a solid base for breast cancer awareness through collaboration with the American Cancer Society (ACS) on fund-raising and outreach. Support from the mayor. s office and other city departments for Relay for Life, the signature fund-raising event of the ACS, had a decided impact. More than 60 city employees participated in the twelve-hour overnight marathon in which team members take turns walking, running or even crawling around a track to raise money to fight cancer. The mayor. s office also participated in a media campaign to promote the event. As a result, ACS raised twice as much as it did last year, with city employees responsible for generating $6,200 in contributions. This amount represented over 8 percent of the total raised for the entire county. ACS has deemed the mayor. s office staff as being so helpful that there is discussion of holding next year. s Relay for Life in Jackson or of having two fund-raisers for the county in 1999.

The mayor. s staff also collaborates with the ACS on outreach activities. One staff member attended a Breast Self-Exam Training sponsored by the ACS and the Mississippi State Health Department. Those certified in this procedure are assisting with outreach training that will be taught at 30 locations during 1998-1999. The targeted audience will include members of seniors. groups, churches, community associations, and women. s organizations as well as high school students. ACS also involved the mayor. s office in a national event by sponsoring the same staff member for advocacy training at the Society. s 1998 National Fund-Raising Kickoff Conference in Washington, DC.

Other persons on the mayor. s staff participate in a variety of outreach activities, including support activities for breast cancer survivors through the Breast Cancer Team. Sponsored by the ACS, the Breast Cancer Team provides free mammograms to the underserved. The Team also organizes cancer survivors and business women to participate in a luncheon and fashion show that promotes cancer awareness to the underserved.

In addition to collaborating on breast cancer awareness, the mayor. s office, ACS, and the State Health Department co-sponsored smoking prevention and cessation training for small businesses during this past year.

Contact: Latifa M. Turner, Mayors Administrative Assistant, Policy, Research and Development, 601/960-1084.

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