This February, in honor of Black History Month, SHARE is excited to highlight our rich program of initiatives by and for Black women. As Christine Benjamin, SHARE’s VP of Patient Services observes, "For too long, disparities in health care and outcomes for people of color have existed. Research has proven what we are already highly aware of: Black people have a higher incidence of cancer and face substantial obstacles when it comes to preventing, detecting, treating, and surviving cancer. In fact, this community has the highest death rate and shortest survival time of any racial/ethnic group for most cancers in the United States."
Ms. Benjamin goes on to note that services for Black women are central to SHARE’s mission. “SHARE has worked for decades to decrease these disparities. We want the Black community to know they are not alone, and our services can help them navigate the fear and confusion with support and understanding. “
SHARE hosts seven support group sessions each month for Black women - including groups for women with breast, ovarian, uterine, and metastatic breast cancer. These groups - accessible online via zoom - are led by Black women who have experienced a cancer diagnosis, and provide participants with a place to share experiences, make friends, and learn more about the issues that affect them.
Our education programs for Black women reflect a full spectrum of topics that resonate in the community - from "Women of Color and their Personal Products: Knowing What is in Your Beauty Routine" and "Black Women and Endometrial Cancer: Let’s Talk about Incidence, Mortality Rates and More" to a two-part series focusing on Black women and Triple Negative Breast Cancer. SHARE is reaching women where they are - virtually, through Facebook and Instagram - to make sure that they have the information they need to make the best health choices.
SHARE also offers wellness programs for Black women and nutrition programs with tips and information about making healthy choices. We hope to expand these options in the year ahead - keep watching the newsletter for additional information!
For more than a decade, SHARE has also engaged in grassroots community outreach to Black women and families in communities throughout New York City, reaching thousands of people each year. Our Ambassador Program employs specially trained Black women who have experienced a cancer diagnosis to share information about signs, symptoms, risk factors, screening, and treatment options with their community. Through presentations, materials distribution, and special events at libraries, churches, health fairs, and schools, SHARE Ambassadors are spreading the word in a multitude of ways and breaking down barriers to better health.