Cervical Cancer Awareness & Prevention…What do you know?

Happy New You D2F Catalyst Readers!!!

Cervical Cancer and the Urban Community Quick Facts

  • Out of the 12,000 women diagnosed each year, Hispanic women are ranked highest for diagnosed cases of cervical cancer
  • Over 40% of the black women diagnosed with cervical cancer this year will die from the disease.

This month the health and wellness community highlights cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is almost always caused by genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.  HPV can also lead to cancers of the anus, vulva, vagina, throat and penis; however cervical cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancers. Yet, we (black women)  are still dying at a  disproportionate rate than any other race.  Research illustrates that the black community is, in fact, knowledgeable about cervical cancer (what it is and how it is caused) yet, there seems to be a disconnect when it comes to prevention measures (vaccinations and screening test/exams). So let’s discuss…I want to hear what you think before we discuss and respond to what research says you think!

Please respond to the poll!!

Thank You:)

Happy New YOU!!

As we prepare to ring in the year 2013 it would not be a surprise to anyone if this blog simply discussed ways to improve your physical health, but that would not be a true reflection of “public health” to simply highlight physical wellness. Instead focus on a holistic approach to your health and identify ways to enhance your spiritual, physical, and mental health in the new year.

To begin, create a list of goals using the  S.M.A.R.T. method. Making sure your goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-Focused, and Time-Bound. Be intentional, creative, and realistic with your goals. Don’t list things that will be extremely difficult to attain….Take BABY steps!!

Here’s 5 healthy tips from the Center for Disease Control to keep in mind when preparing your list:

  • Find health resources to help you achieve your New Year’s goals.
  • Protect yourself from injury or disease by wearing a helmet, sunscreen, or insect repellent when necessary.
  • Make an appointment for a check-up, vaccination, or screening. Know where to go for care if you do not have health insurance.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Learn health tips that take less than 5 minutes.

I hope my suggestions will help you in planning to build upon your new YOU!! Please leave comments or suggestions that have been helpful to you in creating and working toward your goals. I wish you all a blessed and prosperous New Year, New You!!!

Lauren Walton

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Back to School…Not Really!

The school year began. Some were in class for a few weeks, while others were there only one week until the Chicago Teacher’s Union strike launched.  Approximately 26,000 teachers and over 350,000 students have been out of the classroom for over a week. We can’t seem to escape the news coverage on the negotiation points which include salary raises and evaluations among other things…but what about the kids?!? I have some suggestions to keep their mind and body active while on a hiatus from the classroom.

  • Develop a list of academic goals for the school year
    • i.e. improve math grade and/or reading comprehension
    • Setting goals could be used as an accountability tool. Be sure to reference the list in the coming weeks to remind students of their mission and asses what actions they have taken to reach their goals thus far.
  • Start a journal
    • It helps inspire creativity and assist with building writing skills
  • Set a school year schedule which would include the following:
    • Consistent Study Session
    • Family/Meal Time
      • i.e. Game Night
      • No Phone, T.V., or Computer Usage during this time
      • This quality time will encourage dialogue between members of the family that influences the student’s social and mental health. It makes them feel good that someone cares about their day while building meaningful relationships and lasting memories!
    • Bedtime
      • Research encourages students get at least 8 hours of sleep to be productive during the school day.

These are just a few suggestions that could positively affect not only a student’s academic success but their social, physical, and mental health. It takes consistency and dedication to a plan of action to yield results. So I’m challenging readers to discuss and create a plan together with students that will motivate academic success and bridge positive health outcomes….LET’s DO IT!

Please feel free to leave comments with additional suggestions.

Lauren Walton, Public Health Assistant