BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A free breast cancer awareness walk and
wellness event will be held Saturday, Oct. 13 at 10 a.m. in Masten
Park by the Patient Voices Network. The network is a patient
empowerment partnership between the University at Buffalo
Department of Family Medicine, and patients from UBMD Family
Medicine at Jefferson and Jericho Road Family Practice.
The 1.6 mile walk will start at 10 a.m. at the Best Street
entrance to Masten Park, with registration starting at 8:30 a.m.
The wellness event begins at 11 a.m. in Masten Park. Health care
providers will be available to talk to participants and there will
also be information on breast health, breast cancer and screening.
Healthy snacks and free T-shirts will be distributed.
On-site screening mammograms will be available for women who
have a prescription and who pre-register by calling WNY Breast
Health at 1-855-464-7465, prior to the event. Free services through
the Cancer Services Program are available for the uninsured. Those
who are unable to get screened on Oct. 13 will be provided with an
appointment for another day.
The idea for the event originated with members of the Patient
Voices Network, which was formed by the UB Primary Care Research
Institute of the Department of Family Medicine and Jericho Road
Ministries. In the network, patients living with chronic illness
work together to improve primary care and to boost the rate of
cancer screenings at the network's practice partners, Jericho Road
Family Practice and UBMD Family Medicine at Jefferson, which is
operated by the UB Department of Family Medicine.
"We were talking about how everyone knows what the pink ribbon
means, but to really reach people on Buffalo's East Side, we would
need to put on an event right in the community," says Laurene
Tumiel-Berhalter, PhD, associate professor of family medicine and
director of community translational research at the Primary Care
Research Institute in UB's School of Medicine and Biomedical
Sciences. "We started talking about walking right down Jefferson
Avenue, bringing people out of their homes to join us and to get
screened for breast cancer."
According to Tumiel-Berhalter, patients and providers were
committed to making sure that both the walk and the event be free
in order to ensure the highest possible participation rate. Those
who want to donate to breast cancer research will be able to do so;
gift bags for participants will include information on how to
"This is not a fundraiser," she stresses. "This is an event we
are holding to educate people on the East Side about breast cancer
and to screen them for it."
The free walk and event are being made possible by grants to the
Patient Voices Network from the Western New York Affiliate of Susan
G. Komen for the Cure and from the New York State Division of
Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR).
During the event, women who have pre-registered will be screened
at the WNY Breast Health's Mobile Mammography Unit, which will be
stationed in Masten Park. Additional screenings will take place on
Oct. 18, when the unit will be stationed in front of UBMD Family
Medicine at Jefferson and UBMD Gynecology Obstetrics, 1315
Jefferson Ave. in Buffalo.
Throughout the rest of the fall, women will have additional
opportunities to receive mammograms. The unit will be stationed at
Jericho Road Family Practice, 184 Barton St., Buffalo, on the
fourth Tuesday of every month and at Jericho Road Family Practice,
1609 Genesee St. on the third Tuesday of every month. To
pre-register, call 1-855-464-7465.
"By stationing the mammography machines in such convenient and
visible locations, we hope that as many people as possible in the
community will get screened," says Tumiel-Berhalter.
If a screening indicates that further tests are necessary,
patients will be referred to an appropriate health care provider if
they do not already have one.
The need for breast cancer education in minority communities is
urgent, says Tumiel-Berhalter, because:
--Among African-American women, breast cancer is the most common
cancer and the second most common cause of death;
--African-American women have a higher incidence rate of breast
cancer before age 40 and are more likely to die from it at every
age than are non-Hispanic, white women;
--While mortality rates decreased for white breast cancer
patients from 1975 to 2003, they actually increased for
The Patient Voices Network began with a grant Tumiel-Berhalter
received from the National Center for Minority Health and Health
Disparities, part of the National Institutes of Health. She used
the grant to develop an organization in which patients could
promote ways to improve primary care in their community by helping
one another. The response from patients was so enthusiastic that
the group, which began meeting monthly, now meets on a weekly
basis. The network provides education and assistance in the
community for patients with diabetes and, with Roswell Park Cancer
Institute, has promoted colorectal cancer events and screenings.
More information on the network is here: http://www.fammed.buffalo.edu/patientvoices.