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Minority Health Month kicks off Friday with beginning of virtual health series

STEUBENVILLE — “The State of Minority Health” is the theme for April’s observance of Minority Health Month in Jefferson County, which kicks off Friday with the launch of a special online health series.

“In addition to serving as our 2021 theme, ‘The State of Minority Health’ also is the title of a four-part virtual health series that will air Friday evenings in April and will address minority health disparities such as breast and prostate cancer, heart disease, COVID-19 and the implications of COVID-19 on mental health,” explained Cynthia Lytle, program and community development director for Urban Mission Ministries.

“The purpose of this virtual health series is to inform, educate and promote healthy dialogue between minorities and their local health care providers as well as promote and encourage preventative care,” Lytle said, adding “The State of Minority Health” will feature a collection of informative, educational interviews with health care professionals and community members who take the interviewers’ seat to “ask the docs.”

The virtual health series will air through Urban Mission’s Facebook page beginning Friday at 7 p.m. and continue on April 16, 23 and 30, also at 7 p.m.

Each episode will highlight a different health disparity and feature minority health care providers — some who serve locally and some serving in other parts of country but have ties to or roots in the community.

Friday’s episode is “Cancer is Not Equal: The Importance of Mammogram and Prostate Screenings for Minorities.” It will feature local Dr. Vanessa Palmer, specializing in breast health and breast cancer prevention for African American women, and a local urologist, who will address the current disparity in minority mammogram and prostate screenings, and discuss steps minorities can take to improve their preventative health care habits.

The interview also will highlight and encourage participation in the mammogram and prostate screening events scheduled to take place as part of the Minority Health Month observance.

The series and other month’s events constitute the work of a Neighborhood Community Development Center/Minority Health Month committee that, aside from Lytle, involves Angela Kirtdoll and Jalil Harvey, marketing and publicity; Sharon Kirtdoll and Patti West, men’s free prostate screening event; Sandi Rue, the cardiovascular segment of the virtual health series; Dr. Vanessa Palmer, women’s mammogram screening event; and Michelle Hada and Jacqueline Gibson.

In addition to the virtual health series, two in-person screenings make a welcomed comeback.

The “Mammograms & Lunch” women’s mammogram screening will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 23 at the Tiffany Breast Care Center Mobile Unit, which will be stationed at Urban Mission’s Fresh Market Pantry located at 311 N. Sixth St., Steubenville.

For information, contact Urban Mission at (740) 282-8010.

The Neighborhood Community Development Center of Urban Mission will partner with the North West Ohio Breast and Cervical Cancer Project of Fulton County, the Tiffany Breast Care Center of Mahoning County and the Breast Health & Breast Cancer Prevention Program for African American Women of Jefferson County to provide women ages 40 and up with breast cancer screenings and diagnostic services, Lytle explained. The screening is for women who are insured or uninsured and are residents of Ohio.

The men’s free prostate screening, meanwhile, will be held on April 27 from 4 p.m. To 7 p.m. at the Tony Teramana Cancer Center, 3204 Johnson Road, Steubenville. To schedule an appointment, contact Barb Steitz, patient navigator, at (740) 264-8207. For event questions, call Urban Mission’s main office at (740) 282-8010.

For this event, the Neighborhood Community Development Center of Urban Mission will partner with the Tony Teramana Cancer Center (Trinity Health System), the Women in Action Against Cancer Coalition of Jefferson County, two local urologists and one nurse practitioner to provide men ages 40 and older with free digital and physical prostate exams. For information on Minority Health Month 2021, visit Urban Mission’s website at urbanmission.org or Facebook page or call (740) 282-8010. There also is a Minority Health Month Steubenville Facebook page.

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