228366 Breast cancer town hall meetings: Community collaborations for social justice

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mary K. Anglin, PhD, MPH , Department of Anthropology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Karen J. Pierce, JD , BVHP Health and Environmental Assessment Task Force, San Francisco Department of Public Health, Community Health Promotion and Prevention, San Francisco, CA
Barbara Cicerelli, MPA , Breast and Cervical Cancer Services, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA
This presentation uses ethnographic field notes, interview transcriptions, focus group data, audio-visual records, minutes and reports of meetings, and firsthand accounts to depict the work of the Breast Cancer Town Hall Collaborative, a network of service providers, community organizations and residents concerned about the high rates of breast cancer incidence and mortality in San Francisco. Lead staff for the Collaborative were provided by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. To address limitations in existing programs of breast cancer education and outreach for low income, racial/ethnic minority, and older women, the Collaborative proposed the idea of “community-driven” meetings. Participatory planning processes were used to organize each meeting, and to select neighborhood locations that were accessible and perceived as inclusive of a wide range of participants. In addition to providing an overview of the ten Town Hall Meetings organized by the Collaborative, the presentation addresses the involvement of one community organization, the Bayview Hunters Point Advocates, in efforts to democratize access to needed information about breast cancer, recognize the work of local leaders, and consider racism and inequality as part of the “health risks” faced by low income neighborhoods. Specific examples will be drawn from the first meeting held in Bayview Hunters Point (1998) and the last meeting held in the Outer Mission (2004). Of particular interest here is the progression over time from providing basic information about breast cancer to the inclusion of environmental injustice as a risk factor.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the work of the San Francisco Breast Cancer Town Hall Meeting Collaborative--a collaboration between public health professionals, residents, and community organizations--to design and implement ten community-based meetings, 1998-2004, on breast cancer prevention and control. 2. Illustrate the impact of community organizations and residents on the content--and the accessibility--of educational sessions about breast cancer. 3. Identify key components of public health educational forums that are collaborative in content as well as in format, and that address the concerns of low income, racial/ethnic minority, and older women about health as social (in)justice.

Keywords: Breast Cancer Programs, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted ethnographic research on the topic of this presentation, and because I participated in designing and implementing the Breast Cancer Town Hall Meetings described in the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.