The University of Arizona Cancer Center is partnering with the Consulate of Mexico in Tucson to promote awareness of cancer, infectious diseases, women’s health, mental health and health-care access at the Binational Health Fair on Sunday, Oct. 1, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at San Miguel High School, 6601 S. San Fernando Road, Tucson.
The event kicks off Binational Health Month, which is coordinated by federal, state and local governments, international groups, community organizations and volunteer advocates who come together to push for improved health and well-being in underserved Latino populations in the United States and Canada. This year’s Binational Health Month theme is “La salud nos une a todos” — “Health Unites Us All.”
The event will feature health education, including information on breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer and skin cancer, and community resources, as well as assistance enrolling in insurance and obtaining preventive health screenings.
Physicians from the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Tucson will provide physical exams, and well-child exams will be given by personnel from the UA College of Nursing in conjunction with Clinica Amistad. The Pima County Health Department will offer screening for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, and the UA College of Pharmacy will provide blood pressure checks, diabetes and cholesterol screening, breathing assessments, medication reviews and health-related information.
Other organizations at the event will include:
- Arizona Department of Health Services Office of Border Health
- El Rio Community Health Center
- Health Choice
- Juntos Por La Salud (UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health Mobile Unit)
- Pima County Health Department Well Woman Program, HIV/STD Program, Family Planning
- UA Hispanic Center of Excellence
- UA Health Sciences Office of Diversity and Inclusion
- United Health
- Valencia Library
“One of the biggest problems affecting the Latino community is lack of insurance,” said Rene Lozano, UA Cancer Center outreach coordinator. “Some don’t have health insurance and, therefore, do not have access to preventive health screenings that could detect conditions such as cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure early. By having insurance navigators at these events, we can help the community enroll in health care and obtain preventive screenings.”
Even among people with insurance, said Lozano, “lack of health knowledge can prevent them from seeking preventive health care. Moreover, sometimes information might not be available in Spanish. Events such as this one are trying to bring these services and health knowledge into the community.”
Event organizers will address cancer mortality by making educational materials and programs accessible. “Information is key,” said Jorge Gomez, MD, PhD, the UA Cancer Center’s assistant director for cancer outreach, speaking to the importance of promoting health literacy. Prevention and screening are essential to reducing cancer mortality, which is an especially crucial issue for Latinos. “Screening and prevention are going to save lives. We need to develop education strategies that are culturally appropriate, to help them understand the importance of early identification of disease.”
About the University of Arizona Cancer Center
The University of Arizona Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center headquartered in Arizona. The UACC is supported by NCI Cancer Center Support Grant No. CA023074. With primary locations at the University of Arizona in Tucson and at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, the UACC has more than a dozen research and education offices in Phoenix and throughout the state and 300 physician and scientist members work together to prevent and cure cancer. For more information: uacc.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube)
About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs almost 5,000 people, has nearly 1,000 faculty members and garners more than $126 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn)