CITY OF TULSA, OK
Mayor M. Susan Savage

Mayor Uses Outreach to Meet Breast Cancer Goal of "Healthy People 2000"

Mayor Susan Savage has directed the City of Tulsa to work through the Tulsa City-County Health Department to educate women about risk factors and the early detection of breast cancer. Tulsa. s objective is to meet the Healthy People 2000 national goal of 20.6 per 100,000 for breast cancer deaths. Oklahoma. s age adjusted rate for breast cancer in 1992 was 24.6 per 100,000 compared to the national rate of 27.2. per 100,000.

Tulsa. s initiative, "Take Charge," is a collaborative program with the Oklahoma State Department of Health that provides women age 50 to 64 living at 185% of poverty with free breast examinations and coupons for no-cost mammograms. Each client is offered a pap smear, blood pressure and blood sugar evaluation, and anemia screening. "Project Woman," done in collaboration with the American Cancer Society of Tulsa, offers similar services to women 40 to 49, and has special outreach to women of color.

Mayor. s Backing of Events

Mayor Savage supports community outreach through her personal backing of fund-raising events and awareness initiatives. She was Honorary Chair for the highly successful, sold-out 1998 Pink Ribbon luncheon and also ran in the "Run for a Cure" held last fall during one of the hottest days of the year. Members of her staff wear pink ribbons throughout National Breast Cancer Awareness Week.

Outcome

Local health department representatives participate in awareness forums, speak at senior centers and assisted housing complexes, and network with many community agencies for outreach. Consequently, 226 women were screened for breast cancer last year through these free clinics, resulting in 89 mammograms with abnormal findings. Despite their extensive community outreach, health department officials have great concern about convincing women with abnormal findings to access follow-up care. One reason is "not wanting to know," and another is the lack of financial resources for such medical services.

Contact: Hilary Kitz, Mayor. s Assistant, 918-596-7686.

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