Breast Cancer Awareness Event Stresses Prevention
Participants at the 14th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month kickoff in Somerset County joined Freeholder Patricia Walsh, second row-fifth from left, in support of the awareness campaign. In a show of solidarity, many participants wore pink clothing and accessories. The kickoff was held across from the North Plainfield Borough Hall. The Zufall Health Highlands Health Van was on-site throughout the day. Staff provided well-woman exams, including clinical breast exams and referrals for mammograms, as needed.
NORTH PLAINFIELD – Somerset County Freeholder Patricia L. Walsh recently joined Zufall Health and the Regional Chronic Disease Coalition of Somerset and Morris Counties in kicking off the 14th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month across from the North Plainfield Borough Hall.
The public was invited to attend and to join in wearing pink clothing or accessories in recognition of people affected by breast cancer. The pink ribbon is an international symbol of breast cancer awareness.
Zufall Health Chief Operating Officer Fran Palm officiated. North Plainfield Mayor Michael Giordano Jr. welcomed attendees and Freeholder Patricia Walsh, public health and safety liaison, recognized October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and offered brief remarks. Dr. Deborah Lue of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset spoke about the importance of early detection and lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise.
Several members of the RCDC of Somerset and Morris counties were available to talk with participants and provide literature and valuable resources.
“The goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to stress the importance of early detection and screenings and to inform the public about the many resources and services available to residents of Somerset County,” said Freeholder Patricia Walsh.
“On the national level, the number of deaths attributed to breast cancer continues to decrease. However, in Somerset County, the incidence rate for female breast cancer is higher than on the national level,” she said.
"We all probably know of someone who has had breast cancer and most likely will know someone in the future. That is why we need to spread the word that early detection saves lives and that resources are available despite insurance status or ability to pay. No family should suffer the loss of a loved one because they waited too long to be screened.”
In addition to the public ceremony, the Zufall Health Highlands Health Medical Mobile Unit was on-site from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Staff provided county residents with well-woman exams, including clinical breast exams and referrals for mammograms, as needed.
Zufall Health, a community-based nonprofit, is the medical and dental home for the underserved with sites in north, west and central New Jersey. For 27 years, Zufall has welcomed patients of all ages, from newborns to seniors, regardless of income or insurance status, and offers a broad range of primary care and support services, delivered in a comfortable, healing environment. For more information, visit www.zufallhealth.org.
The 2017 breast cancer awareness event was sponsored by Zufall Health, the New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection program, the Somerset County Board of Freeholders, and the RCDC of Somerset and Morris Counties and its partners.
The RCDC and NJCEED programs are made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Department of Health, Office of Cancer Control and Prevention to the Somerset County Department of Health and Zufall Health, respectively.
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Namitha Reddy, MD, MPH, Director and Health Officer
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The Somerset County Department of Health is dedicated to fostering healthy lifestyles and a safe environment through effective leadership in public health, comprehensive planning, development of proactive community partnerships and a continued commitment to public health service. Additionally, SCDOH is the lead agency responsible for countywide Public Health emergency planning and response activities.
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If you live in any other township, please contact your local health department.