Pink Pashmina Project

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:  Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in women, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among Asian American and Pacific Islander women in the U.S. Since the 1980’s, breast cancer rates have risen 4.5% each year. In 2008, 226,510 women in the U.S. were diagnosed with breast cancer, and an estimated 40,580 women died of breast cancer. All women are at risk for breast cancer, and the risk increase as women get older, especially after age 40.

Breast cancer affects the Asian subpopulations disproportionately. The rate of breast cancer among some Asian subpopulations is almost double the rate of their Caucasian counterparts leading to higher morbidity and mortality. Moreover, screening rates among the population is much lower, adding to the increased disparity between Asian American women and Caucasians.

The Breast and Cervical Cancer Education Project was initiated in 2008 to educate, increase awareness, and link women to care among Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Chinese communities. Based on the success of this project, the Asian Health Coalition was able to expand and reach out to Muslim and South Asian women with funding from the Illinois Department of Public Health, as well as a Susan G. Komen grant to initiate the Pink Pashmina Project.

The Pink Pashmina Project targeted highly vulnerable Muslim and South Asian immigrant women residing in ethnic enclaves in greater Chicagoland to reduce disparities, and increase awareness and screening rates. The project aims to raise their awareness in a culturally competent fashion about breast and cervical cancer risks and prevention, as well as providing them with linkages to care to guide them through the health care system for screenings and proper timely care.

The Pink Pashmina Project was funded in 2014-2015 by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Chicago Foundation for Women, Lesser Franklin Charitable Trust, and Crown Family Philanthropies.

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TARGET POPULATION: Asian American immigrant and refugees communities in metropolitan Chicago

PARTNERS:
• Metropolitan Asian Family Services
• Muslim Women Resource Center

PROGRAM GOALS:  

• Enhance community awareness and knowledge about breast and cervical cancer risks and prevention strategies

• Increase breast and cervical cancer screening rates among Asian American women through strengthened linkage to care network development

• Build the capacity of community health advocates and lay health educators to provide culturally and linguistically tailored support and referral for their community members


Silk Brocade Project

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PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The Breast and Cervical Cancer Education Project was initiated in 2008 to educate, increase awareness, and link women to care among the Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Chinese communities. Based on the success of this project, the Asian Health Coalition was able to expand and reach out to Muslim and South Asian women with funding from the Illinois Department of Public Health, as well as a Susan G. Komen grant in 2011. In addition, we received funding in 2011 through the PATH Legacy Grant to provide breast and cervical cancer awareness, outreach, and linkage to care for Lao women residing in the Fox River Valley area of Elgin, IL.

TARGET POPULATION: Laotian immigrant community in Fox River Valley

PARTNERS:
• Lao American Association of Elgin
• VNA Health Care

PROGRAM GOALS: 

• Enhance community awareness and knowledge about breast and cervical cancer risks and prevention strategies

• Increase breast and cervical cancer screening rates among Laotian women through strengthened linkage to care network development

• Build the capacity of community health advocates and lay health educators to provide culturally and linguistically tailored support and referral for their community members