Breast cancer happens to real people, not abstractions on paper

Politics at any level will never completely determine the faith of a community with enormous concerns regarding poor health service. San Francisco city government has known for too many years the need for funding breast cancer services and for more than seven years has failed to provide such services.

African-American-Breast-Cancer-Conference-organized-by-Concerned-Network-of-Women-Alex-Pitcher-Room-102614-300x198, Breast cancer happens to real people, not abstractions on paper, Local News & Views
It was a full house at the Alex Pitcher Room for the African American Breast Cancer Conference organized by Concerned Network of Women. By some counts, Bayview Hunters Point has one of the highest rates of breast cancer anywhere, especially among Black women, even young mothers.

This concern was brought to our current district supervisor, Malia Cohen, in 2009, yet the San Francisco Department of Public Health in 2008 removed all resources for breast cancer education in Bayview Hunters Point with no valid reason other than the program was extremely successful. This year was very troublesome; the one event that women depended on for breast cancer trends was not sponsored by a nonprofit.

Witnessing this service gap, a newly created group of women called Concerned Network of Women (CNW) picked up the project. Concerned Network of Women was organized by Dr. Betty McGee, who is committed to individual accountability and will work to improve unmet needs in low-income communities.

She, along with Rhoda Charles, Gwendolyn Thomas, Yvonne Kelly, Delorisa Turner, Veronica Shepard and Shirley Forman, clearly felt the annual African American Breast Cancer Conference is a service that is non-debatable as they enthusiastically continue to embrace a core value system. This value system is designed to be meaningful and inspirational inside the organization.

The event took place on Oct. 26, 2014, in the Alex Pitcher Community Room with guest speaker Dr. Amani Nuru-Jeter, associate professor at UC Berkeley. Dr. Nuru-Jeter’s presentation focused on stress and its impact on our health.

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Dr. Amani Nuru-Jeter of UC Berkeley speaks at the African American Breast Cancer Conference on Oct. 26.

CNW targeted 100 women and, needless to say, the number of women attending the conference well exceeded 25 percent of its target. Participation by the women overwhelmed everyone, as Dr. Nuru-Jeter explained how our health can be adversely impacted by stressors and how to identify such stressors.

The findings of Dr. Nuru-Jeter’s study were striking to many of the women who witness and/or live among stressors every day, especially residents of low-income communities. Following her presentation, Dr. Nuru-Jeter received rave reviews from the women.

Individual comments on how we might improve reflected requests to have Dr. Nuru-Jeter back in 2015. Dr. McGee would like to take the opportunity to invite others concerned about health issues in their communities to join Concerned Network of Women and learn how to battle negative health conditions.

As real people, our purpose is to create a bridge among public service gaps that may be undetected, unaddressed and under-funded by local governments. Dr. McGee can be reached via email at