LatinaSHARE Set to Celebrate 30 Years of Impact and Growth

LatintaSHARE launched in 1994 with a groundbreaking vision: to provide breast cancer support and education for Spanish speaking women – reflecting the kind of peer-led support that had become so meaningful for English-speaking women at SHARE.  

Alexandria Colon, a breast cancer survivor, social worker at Metropolitan Hospital, and SHARE support group member, founded the program.  The LatinaSHARE Helpline was then quickly established in 1995, and Bella August, also a social worker, created and led the first Spanish-speaking support group in 1996.  Ivis Sampayo became Director of LatinaSHARE in 1998, and introduced educational outreach, bringing important information about signs, symptoms, and screenings to the Latino community in the Bronx, the same year.  

From there, LatinaSHARE led the way in cancer support, with advocacy training, workshops for medical students to learn about a patient’s perspective when getting a cancer diagnosis, onsite patient navigators to help Spanish-speaking patients understand their diagnoses and treatment options, and to serve as liaisons with their medical teams…. And Ivis Sampayo developed the idea of bringing key information about breast cancer to Latinas in the format of a comic-book style novela, and the perennially popular “Se Valiente… Son Tus Senos,” was first published in 2012.

Maria Estrella, now SHARE’s Vice President of Outreach joined LatinaSHARE in 2007 year, Jennie Santiago, now Senior Director of LatinaSHARE Patient Support and Education joined LatinaSHARE in 2006 year, and Olympia Cepeda, now Director of LatinaSHARE and Senior Outreach joined in 1998 year.

Over the years, the LatinaSHARE team has led presentations, received awards, and participated in events at venues from Bellevue Hospital toto the White House.  Spanish language support groups and educational programming has grown from the New York City area to virtual attendance not only across the country, but internationally, also adding support and information for ovarian, uterine and cervical cancers.   LatinaSHARE has also created a vibrant social media community, a well-read newsletter, and been highlighted in high-profile press including Self Magazine, El Diario and Univision.  Thousands of people come together to help each other navigate the challenges of breast and gynecologic cancer, day in and out. The program continues to grow in size and impact every year!

Now, LatinaSHARE will host its very first Spanish language conference on March 21: Voces Unidas Crean Cambio. Conferencia de LatinaSHARE 2024, with a dynamic, interactive agenda to spark conversation, provide information and demand action to overcome obstacles to equitable healthcare.  LatinaSHARE’s fun 30th Anniversary party will bring the conference to its crescendo.

Register for the Conference Here

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