The following are excerpts from the South Central Los Angeles Unit of the American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts & Figures.
Past Presidents Message
As the first year of my presidential term ends I am pleased to announce that our South Central Los Angeles Unit has forged a truly personal relationship with the community of the Watts-Willowbrook area. We have been able to establish the foundation for the American Cancer Society's Mission 2015 by communicating the program's goal of a 50% across the board reduction in the incidence in cancer cases in our community.
In setting the goals for the second year mission our first concern is to recruit and establish a Board and volunteer staff that will reflect and interact with the culturally diverse community our unit serves. Here, this unit will continue to seek information and resource services for our constituency. Our second goal for this year is to challenge our community to make changes that increase the quality of our everyday lives, by making good health a priority. These combined goals will meet the ACS Mission 2015 objectives.
We are especially proud of the partnerships our unit has forged with many health care providers and community based service programs. These liaisons have proved invaluable in education and delivery of health support services to the Watts-Willowbrook community.
In closing I would like to express thanks and appreciation to all the dedicated individuals who have supported the community activities of the South Central Los Angeles Unit. I am looking forward to working with every one of you, again, this year as we approach the new millennium and its challenges. God Bless.
Ron Beavers, Ph.D.
Past-President SCLA Unit
American Cancer Society
"It Takes A Village to Educate and Raise a Child"
Educating children has become a collaborative effort. The ills of society have made it impossible for schools to educate without assistance from parents, community residents, churches, community organizations and local agencies. As a result, the LAUSD has restructured Student health and Human Services to include mandated collaboration as an integral part of service delivery. Resource Coordinating Councils are the foundation of the service delivery to each cluster area.
The Fremont Cluster Resource Coordinating Council includes representatives from local community organizations serving the Watts-Willowbrook area. The following services are available to the students and families of the Fremont Cluster:
The American Cancer Society South Central Unit is actively participating by providing information on health issues and cancer prevention to our schools and families.
The Community Health Council of South Los Angeles collaborates with the Jack & Jill of America Foundation and the ACS South Central Unit in a Leadership Training Program at Fremont High School.
The Weingart Foundation recently funded an after school enrichment program in the Cluster. The collaborators are Weingart, YMCA, Challengers Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts of America, Salvation Army, and the LAPD Jeopardy program.
Through the Rolling Readers Program, volunteers are on elementary school campuses, reading to children and encouraging a love for reading.
Drew Child Development Corporation, Drew University and King Hospital are on campuses providing health and science classroom information. These efforts will result in children choosing more appropriate lifestyles and becoming productive and successful adults.
A resource Directory is available to parents, students and staff for the Fremont Cluster schools.
Despite recent progress in the fight against cancer, some Americans continue to bear a disproportionate share of the nation's cancer burden. They include racially and culturally diverse Americans who share characteristics associated with lower levels of income and educational attainment as well as persons with inadequate medical insurance and individuals who experience barreirs because of illiteracy or differing cultural beliefs, practices, and languages.
Excessive cancer mortality rates in poor and underserved populations are the result of a complex array of social forces and individual behaviors. Eliminating the problem requires a comprehensive approach to cancer control. Nonprofit organizations, government, and businesses must work together to address the economic businesses must work together to address the economic and structural barriers that limit access to health care services, as well as the cognitive, attitudinal, and behavioral dimensions of the problem. Biomedical, epidemiologic, and behavioral research is needed to improve our understanding of the unique impact of cancer on minority groups and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.
For almost two decades, the American Cancer Society has engaged in a major initiative to understand and address the needs of populations at high risk. As part of this initiative, the Society has convened conferences, held hearings, sponsored research, issued reports, funded demonstration projects, conducted health education and outreach and advocated for changes in public policy.
The Society's major strategies for addressing the needs of underserved Americans include:
Providing local leadership in cancer prevention and control in communities nationwide through collaboration with community-based organizations which address priority interests of the poor and the underserved (such as health, education, spirituality, recreation and safety).
Conducting and supporting medical and behavioral research to discover effective cancer prevention practices, early detection measures and treatments among high-risk populations.
Advocating at all levels of government for public policies, funding, and leadership that will reduce disparities in cancer incidence and mortality. This includes advocacy for tobacco control, comprehensive school health education, and access to health care.