Mayor Empowers Team to Coordinate Breast Cancer Awareness Efforts
In Spokane, we’re taking our first baby steps toward a program that will increase awareness of breast cancer in our community.
Mayor John Talbott put his support behind the USCM Mayors’ Campaign Against Breast Cancer this summer and pulled together a team in August 1999 to coordinate breast cancer awareness efforts. Our team includes city staff, a representative from the local office of the American Cancer Society (ACS), and a number .of interested citizens.
In an effort to get some quick results and tie into National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the team set immediate goals of improved public education about the disease and increased awareness of and access to mammography.
Getting Started Without Funds
Our project budget is nearly nonexistent, but fortunately our city already has some excellent resources, including a Women’s Health Services Mobile Coach, which routinely provides mobile mammography services. The coach is operated by Spokane’s Sacred Heart Medical Center in conjunction with Inland Imaging, a radiology service provider.
We arranged to have the mobile coach provide mammograms in October at our three largest community centers, which are located in neighborhoods where women are less likely to have health insurance or adequate access to medical care. We are also looking into the possibility of having the coach offer mammography at some of our area churches. The cost of the preventive tests will be based on a woman’s ability to pay, whether she has health insurance, and her qualifications under the breast and cervical health program set up by Sacred Heart. No woman will be turned away because of an inability to pay.
With three dates in October as our focus, we prepared a flyer for distribution to the community centers, libraries, and our own employees. We promoted the effort in a newsletter that was distributed to all Spokane households. We published the information on the city’s Web site, and set up a hotline that provided the dates, times, and locations of the mammography screenings. A press release about the screenings was sent .out to the local media.
Mayor Takes the Issue to the Public
During the same period, Mayor Talbott starred in a public service announcement about breast cancer awareness – produced by the city – that began running on our government access cable channel in September. In addition, the Mayor’s September 30 cable television show, ."Access Spokane," was devoted to breast cancer education, featuring a local cancer physician and a local ACS representative.
We expect that each year we will be able .to do more to help promote awareness of breast cancer. We plan to seek a corporate sponsor to underwrite the cost of pink breast cancer awareness ribbons, and will look for ways to expand our reach.For more information, please contact:
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352