MCI staffer consults on CDC campaign
Janel Lowman helped design a digital toolkit to encourage African American women to get screened for cervical cancer.
A USA Health community outreach staffer served as a consultant on a national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) campaign to raise awareness about cervical cancer screening.
Janel Lowman, M.H.A., senior community outreach manager at the Mitchell Cancer Institute, helped design a digital toolkit for community health workers to use to encourage African American women to get screened for cervical cancer. Lowman worked with other community health workers from Alabama, Arizona and California, along with CDC researchers, on the campaign, called Face Your Health.
“It was an awesome opportunity to work with women from across the country on such an important women’s initiative,” Lowman said. “I learned so much about designing a campaign that is focused on a particular demographic. You have to consider everything.”
“Face Your Health” is designed to help community health workers reach African American women ages 21 to 65 who have never been screened for cervical cancer, or who don’t get screened regularly. The national campaign provides a variety of online resources, including a quick reference guide, posters, program planning worksheets and training materials, including games and other activities.
African American women are more likely than other women – except Hispanic women – to develop cervical cancer, and they have the highest rates of dying from the disease. Many also may face situations that make it harder to get screened, such as a lack of insurance coverage or access to a regular healthcare provider.
Regular screening with a Pap test or HPV test, depending upon age, can help find cervical cancer early, when it is easier to treat. “Face Your Health” encourages women to know their risk, get screened and be the “face of change.”
“I would like community healthcare workers to know that there is a toolkit available for educating African American women in the community,” Lowman said. “Hopefully, ‘Face Your Health’ will improve screening rates and at the same time reduce the burden of cervical cancer.”