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Hear how three community-based organizations in Massachusetts are reaching their communities to build awareness about cancer: from prevention to the importance of screening and early detection, to connecting with health care providers and support services. Each organization is using different methods to bring awareness of signs and symptoms of cancer, cancer prevention, and how to connect with resources for cancer screenings and early detection strategies. Also hear how each group is uniquely positioned to reach their target audience.
Sofia Perno (she/her) joined the YWCA Central Massachusetts in July as the Director of Wellness and Health Equity. Before that, she was the Fitness Program Manager at Sanofi in Boston. Sofia has worked in corporate fitness for more than ten years. Additionally, she has worked with various populations in different community settings. Sofia holds Personal Training, Group Fitness, and Youth Fitness certifications and is a certified Behavioral Specialist. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Becker College. Sofia loves participating in outdoor activities and giving back to the community in her free time.
Ashayla Burrell (she/her) joined the YWCA Central Massachusetts in September as the Health Equity Coordinator. Before that she was the CEO of Moot Court Organization INC. located in Worcester. Ashayla has worked in various advocacy positions for over seven years and has focused on delivering services to underserved populations. Ashayla holds certifications in Phlebotomy, EKG training and as a Medical Assistant. Ashayla went to Worcester State University for pre-law and sociology and plans to complete her degree soon. Ashayla loves staying active, singing music, and mentoring at risk youth in her free time.
Kate McCarthy is the Program Manager at DetecTogether. DetecTogether is a nonprofit in central Massachusetts with the mission of saving lives by teaching people how to detect cancer early. In her role, Kate develops and delivers programs to young adults, workplaces and at risk groups such are firefighters on DetecTogether’s 3 Steps Detect early cancer detection education.
Kelly Welch is a graduate of Cornell University and has been working in education and nonprofits for 25 years. Since 2014, she has been the Executive Director of Team Maureen, a nonprofit dedicated to ending cervical cancer by educating about the connection between HPV and cancer and the importance of prevention and early detection. She is a founding member, and currently co-leads the Massachusetts HPV Coalition. Kelly has been part of numerous research projects and journal publications at Team Maureen, and is always seeking innovative ways to accomplish their mission. Outside of work, she has been a Town Meeting member since 2011 and elected 4 times to the Falmouth School Committee.
The YWCA Central Massachusetts has been providing services for girls, women, and their families in the central Massachusetts area for more than 135 years. YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
YWCA focuses its mission-driven work in the following core areas: racial and gender equity, economic empowerment, and health and safety. The agency has a strong public policy agenda and is a leader in building collaborations with local and regional organizations to improve the quality of life for women.
The YWCA’s overarching goal is to address the disparities that women and girls and people of color face in the areas of health, education, income, and power. With targeted youth and adult programs, the agency works to recognize the strengths and competencies of women and girls and to offer support, resources, advocacy, information, and education to empower them.
DetecTogether is a non-profit education and advocacy organization located in Westborough, Mass. It was founded to address an unmet need in the cancer world. While it is undisputed that early cancer detection leads to the best health outcomes, no one was teaching people how to identify early warning signs of cancer. In consultation with doctors from top cancer centers, founders Jim and Nancy Coghlin and their family set out to provide people with this life-saving education.
Now in our second decade, the mission of DetecTogether is to save lives by teaching people how to detect cancer early and be active partners in their healthcare.
Team Maureen was founded in memory of Maureen E. Russo, a loving sister, daughter, wife and mother who passed away from relapsed cervical cancer at the age of 37. To honor a promise to keep Maureen’s competitive spirit alive, Maureen’s family and friends founded Team Maureen in 2007 as a Pan Mass Challenge cycling team to raise funds for cancer research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) in Boston, MA. That fundraising has grown to form a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting and preventing cervical cancers.
Team Maureen’s mission is to end cervical cancer by educating about the HPV cancer connection and the importance of prevention and early detection.
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- Examine 3 health information outreach projects designed to build awareness and provide access to health information related to cancer prevention, screening, and early detection.
- Explore the roles and activities of community-based organizations to provide health information access.
- Describe the differences between 3 health information outreach methods.