American Cancer Society celebrates graduation of new volunteers

Community Advisors now ready to assist others in community

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 10:12pm

The American Cancer Society recently celebrated the graduation of the newest volunteers in the Community Health Advisor (CHA) program.

The CHA Class of 2012 includes fifteen volunteers, or CHAs, committed to educating others by sharing information on access to cancer screenings and local resources in an effort to reduce breast, cervical and colorectal cancers in Central Louisiana.

“I think this program is much needed in our community,” said Wyonia Brown, recent graduate of the CHA program and resident of Montgomery, La. “It is a necessity to promote such a program that is hands on and armed with accurate cancer information. I am happy to be a part of such an organization.”

Beginning in January 2013, the CHAs will be doing community outreach with an emphasis on raising awareness, participating in media campaigns, and actively engaging the community and its leaders to promote the CHA program so that more women and men get the appropriate screenings.

The American Cancer Society estimates that at least half of all new cancer cases are disease types that can be prevented or detected earlier by screening. Regular screenings performed by a health care professional can help find cancer early when it is easiest to treat.

The CHA program works in communities that have lower than average cancer screening rates and higher than average percent of families in poverty. CHA volunteers will educate people on the ways to prevent cancer, and also point them to ways to get screened. CHAs will teach the community about how the American Cancer Society can help families affected by cancer. The CHA program will eventually be implemented throughout Central Louisiana, but is being rolled out first in Rapides, Natchitoches and Avoyelles Parishes. 

The American Cancer Society Community Health Advisor Program is in partnership with The Rapides Foundation.

To help cut down on cancer incidence rates, the American Cancer Society uses the CHA program among others to specifically reach the populations most at risk for cancer. The program exists in Mobile, Ala.; Little Rock, Ark.; eastern Kentucky; New Orleans; Jackson, Miss.; and Memphis, Tenn.

The American Cancer Society saves lives and creates more birthdays by helping people stay well, by helping people get well, by finding cures and by fighting back. For more information, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org

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