October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Sponsored Post by Cathy Phan

October is Breast Cancer Prevention Month and, at the HOPE Clinic in Houston, this month is especially meaningful, because our recent $1.5 million grant from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) allows us to provide cancer screenings and preventative care to thousands of low-income and medically underserved individuals in the Greater Houston area.

For a relatively young clinic, the grant is another major step forward from our 2002 beginnings as a four-hours-a-month volunteer-run service. HOPE Clinic was born out of the dream of four Asian American women, who wanted to help others navigate the complex American healthcare system. In 2005, we were thrust into action by Hurricane Katrina and we served 1 out of every 5 Vietnamese American evacuees from Louisiana. Today, HOPE Clinic has grown into a full time Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with 13,000 patient visits per year and the ability to provide our services in 14 different languages, including Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Burmese, Hindi, Arabic and Spanish.

All this would not have been possible without the local leadership and hard work of the members of the Asian American Health Coalition, our parent organization. In addition, the HOPE Clinic has long been supported by our colleagues nationwide. Last month, we had the opportunity to connect with so many fellow health advocates in the fight against cancer at the Pathways of Change conference hosted by APPEAL.

Over the course of three days in sunny and non-humid [we are from Houston after all] San Francisco, we shared, listened, challenged, broke bread, and celebrated with practitioners and advocates from across the country and as far away as Palau. As a group, we moved from a Day of Community to a Day of Strategy, and then to the Day of Equity.

As a local member of APPEAL's RAISE program, having partners far and wide in the battle to prevent cancer is so meaningful. We learn from each other the best practices for issues like tobacco control and ACA implementation. We are encouraged to share our experiences and take back new tools. Perhaps, most importantly, the RAISE program and convenings like Pathways of Change give staffers like us a chance to rejuvenate and reaffirm.

A dozen years ago, four women had a dream to help others navigate their way to a healthier life for themselves, their families and their communities. As members of the inaugural RAISE program cohort, the HOPE Clinic wants our collective journey to be just as impactful.

Cathy Phan is the Affordable Care Act Program Coordinator, Asian American Health Coalition (AAHC) at Hope Clinic. HOPE Clinic, a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center founded in 2002, provides affordable health services to patients of all ages and promotes preventative care, encourages a healthy lifestyle, and advocates for health equity for all.

This post was originally published on the APPEAL website.

angry archive