It matters...That you are informed
That you receive expert care
That you are prepared
Women's Leadership Task Force
In 2011, the breast center Board of Directors commissioned the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department to assess how the organization could best target underserved and at-risk populations in Pierce County with outreach and mammography services. The analysis showed that there is significant variation in the incidence of breast cancer, the use of mammography, and socioeconomic barriers to care throughout Pierce County. Specifically the study found the following:
- African American women diagnosed at a regional or distant stage are more likely to die of breast cancer than other women diagnosed at the same stage.
- African American women are more likely to die at a younger age from breast cancer than any other race of women.
- Breast cancer death rates and premature death from breast cancer were higher in Tacoma, than any other city within Pierce County, despite relatively high rates of mammography screening.
- Breast cancer incidence, hospitalization and death increased dramatically with age in Pierce County, as elsewhere in the nation.
From this work emerged the Leaders in Women's Health – an amazing group of 25 volunteers deeply committed to changing the narrative for African American women regarding breast health. The group comprises a former Senator, 3 PhDs, and representatives of esteemed community groups like the Ebony Nurses Association. After one year of convening, the group has a framework, established goals and a subcommittee structure.
Leaders in Women's Health is committed to:
- Developing innovative ways to reach this underserved population to access screenings early
- Identify and address the barriers that African American women face as it relates to their health
- Ensure that any work/effort this task force takes on is embedded in the African American community by using churches as its anchor institution