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June 28, 2006

Health 'fiesta' seeks to reduce disparities for Latinos

July 16 event focuses on screenings, education, prevention resources

ANN ARBOR, MI – Studies show that Latina women suffer from higher rates of diseases such as diabetes or cancer and are more likely to be in poor health than white women. To help reduce these health disparities in the Latino community, the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center has brought a national event to Washtenaw County.

Dia de la Mujer LatinaDia de la Mujer Latina is an interactive health fiesta, a unique cultural intervention focusing on reducing health disparities in the Latino community by providing health education, resources and health screenings. The local event will be from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 16, at Ypsilanti High School.

The concept for Dia de la Mujer Latina was launched in 1997 in Atlanta, Ga., by its founder, Venus Gines, in an effort to eliminate health disparities among the Latino population. Initially focused on breast cancer awareness, this event now includes a variety of culturally and linguistically competent health awareness and preventive care services for the entire Latino family.

Participants will be eligible to receive free breast cancer education; diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure screenings; as well as educational resources on domestic violence and prenatal care.

In the last three years, the program has been promoted nationwide and is now being duplicated in more than 18 cities across the United States and in Puerto Rico. 

The Washtenaw County event has been a collaborative planning effort with the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, U-M Health System Program for Multicultural Health, UMHS Community Health Services, the UMHS Program for Women’s Health, the U-M Minority Health Research Program, the Latin American and Native American Medical Association, the U-M School of Nursing, and Nurse Managed Centers.  Community partners include the American Cancer Society, Latinos Unidos, Global Design, the Safe House Center and the Washtenaw County Health Department.

For more information about the program, contact Natasha Blakeney, U-M Cancer Center Minority Outreach Coordinator, at 734-647-5780.  Spanish-speaking callers may contact the American Cancer Society at 800-227-2345.

Dia de la Mujer Latina Health Fiesta for Greater Washtenaw County
Time: noon to 5 p.m.
Date: Sunday, July 16
Location: Ypsilanti High School, 2095 Packard Rd., Ypsilanti
Information: 734-647-5780

Written by Nicole Fawcett

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