We had a news conference at the Church of Peace to launch a book in the Stand Against Cancer that was funded by the Susan G. Komen Quad Cities group. The first photo is of Amy Westfall, from Komen. After that is the news release that tells our story in detail.
The StandAgainst Cancer Program (SAC) is an early breast and cervical cancer screeningprogram that serves women 18 – 39 years of age, who are low income, uninsured,and reside in the state of Illinois. Themission of the SAC program is to reduce racial and economic disparities inaccessing these services by partnering with Federally Qualified Health Centers,health departments, faith-based and community-based organizations, the AmericanCancer Society and advocates in various regions of the state from Rock Islandto Cairo (excluding the Chicago Metropolitan Area). The services provided byStand Against Cancer are free of charge to eligible women. The program is funded by the IllinoisDepartment of Public Health Center for Minority Health Services andadministered by the Springfield Urban League, Inc.
Since 2006,Nora Steele, Office Manager for Church of Peace, has acted as the localAdvocate for the Stand Against Cancer program. In her Advocate duties, Nora has passed out information at local fairs,events and at her daily job at the Church of Peace. She educates women on the importance of earlydetection and provides women who are eligible for the SAC program with areferral to the local provider. The Church of Peace became a host of English asa Second Language classes through Black Hawk College two years ago. With this responsibility, the doors opened toa new population in the community – the immigrant population. Most of the women of this community have notseen doctors although they have had many children. Mammograms and pap smears are not commonwords to them as they are to U.S. citizens. Education has proven to be difficult because of the languagebarriers. A better method ofcommunication was needed, but difficult to address.
Nora andChurch of Peace Parish Nurse, Mary Oelschlaeger, decided that a visual aid withlimited verbage would help get the message to the women. The question then was, how do we produce thisvisual aid? It was decided that a bookneeded to be written with pictures, and it needed to be doneprofessionally. A grant was applied forthrough the Susan G. Komen Quad Cities group, and it was received. A partnership was then formed with AugustanaCollege’s Doug Tschopp who heads the graphic arts department and Kathy Conrad,Nursing Faculty at Trinity College of Nursing. Kathy taught students who were able to provide the initial concept forthe project as a part of classwork assignment. Doug listened to what Nora and Mary wanted to do with the project and helpedthem walk through the process. Hedetermined that an illustrator needed to be hired to create some of thepictures that could not be copyrighted. This person was found amongst the members of Church of Peace. Barbara Crede agreed to help with theproject, and it was on its way!
After theillustrator was finished with the pictures, everything was turned over toAugustana College student Joe Santucci under Doug Tschopp’s supervision. Copies were tweaked here and there, and thebook is finished and ready to be used for the Stand Against Cancer program.
Our hope isto have the book translated into several different languages to make it easierin talking with of the women of the immigrant community. More grants will be written, and morepartnerships will be formed!