Thursday, June 12, 2014

End of One Eleuthera’s Grant with Susan G. Komen® Marks the Beginning of Notable Change

The Breast Cancer Community Outreach Program sponsored by Susan G. Komen® concluded with the training of more than 50 Community Contacts who are excited to share their breast cancer knowledge with the women in their various communities.

Eleuthera, Bahamas -- Saturday, May 31, 2014 marked the official completion of the Susan G. Komen (SGK) grant given to the One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF) which funded a Community Outreach Program on Eleuthera.

Focused primarily on breast cancer, the program employed a Community Outreach Coordinator (COC) in the person of Maisie Pinder, who has travelled the length and breadth of Eleuthera educating women and increasing breast cancer awareness since the program’s inception in May of last year.

The goal of the outreach program has been to educate the public about breast cancer, the high risks Bahamian women face, the importance of early detection via regular mammogram screenings and the need to maintain healthy lifestyles to reduce the risks of being diagnosed with this dreaded disease.

The message has been heralded through various means. The Community Outreach Coordinator conducted an island-wide needs and assessment study, breast cancer presentations, seminars and sessions with church women’s groups, schools and civic groups, home visits, field trips distributing breast cancer material, health and fitness programs, public service announcements and lending support to local cancer groups and associations such as Cancer Society of Eleuthera and Bahamas Breast Cancer Initiative. The Outreach program even included the mentorship of a 9th grader from Deep Creek Middle School as a part of a community activism class.

“It has made a tremendous difference to have Maisie Pinder serve as Community Outreach Coordinator and for the opportunity to work with her to enhance the programs that we offer to the women of Eleuthera”, said President of Cancer Society of Eleuthera, Juanita Pinder. “We feel that the Breast Cancer Community Outreach Program has certainly made a huge difference in the lives of our women as they have benefitted from an intensive breast health education campaign and other programs and activities that focused on providing crucial information to assist them to make better health choices.”

The Staff of Princess Cays, one of the first and largest groups COC Maisie presented information to on breast and prostate cancers.

Mrs. Pinder believes that as a result of this program, Eleuthera has seen an increased awareness among women on the island and this proves that this program is a valuable asset and encourages persons to be more proactive when it comes to breast or other cancers.

An assessment determined that after receiving breast cancer information from the Community Outreach Program, the majority of respondents learned more about breast cancer (93.9%), said they will share what they have learned with other women (99.1%) and intend to have a mammogram (88.7%).

“The past twelve months, for me have been extremely rewarding and I am satisfied that the outreach program will have a lasting impact on the lives of many women on my island. However, there is still more that needs to be done and can be done to reach more of our women”, said COC Maisie. “There are still a percentage of [women] who are not being reached so we need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how we can get them involved.”

COC Maisie Pinder and mentee from Deep Creek Middle School (DCMS) student, Leslya Munroe. As a part of her Community Activism class, Leslya was interested in the studying breast cancer in the Bahamas and on Eleuthera. The mentorship concluded on May 31st as Leslya hosted a fundraiser in aid of Eleuthera Imaging Program which seeks to provide mammogram and ultrasound services to the people of Eleuthera.

Overall, Maisie feels encouraged to continue with the breast cancer message and work towards improving care, treatment and services for women on Eleuthera.

One Eleuthera Foundation and the people of Eleuthera are grateful to Susan G. Komen® for the valuable contribution they have made in the form of the Community Outreach Program.


Maisie Pinder

Gacintha Deveaux-Gordon

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