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!Vida! The Seventh Annual Mujer Latina Breast Cancer Conference

by Yamila El-Khayat, MALS
Outreach Services Librarian, Arizona Health Sciences Library
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

Tucson hosted its seventh annual “Vida” Conference on October 6, 2012, at Apollo Middle School, located in the southern part of Tucson, with a population consisting of roughly 83% Mexican-American and 10% Native American residents. This conference was held in this area because its primary goal is to provide bilingual breast cancer education to the minority community of southern Arizona.

2012 Vida Conference Advertisement

Every year this conference is held in October, to highlight Breast Cancer Awareness month and to help inform communities about this important health topic. The conference is supported by the Southern Arizona Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and leadership is provided by Ana Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, associate dean of outreach and multicultural affairs and professor of medicine and pathology at the University of Arizona and the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

This year the conference consisted of both workshops and exhibits. Free admission was offered to the public, attracting over 100 attendees to the event. Every year this conference offers free educational workshops about breast health and breast cancer care; as well as information about early screening, risk factors, and survivorship. The focus has historically been on adult women, but this year for the first time there were also workshops focusing on men and adolescent girls. All workshops and exhibits were available in Spanish and English.

The Arizona Health Sciences Library (AHSL) had the opportunity to exhibit at this event, which provides an excellent opportunity to interact with many community members and tell them about the trustworthy health information that the National Library of Medicine makes available, and the many languages in which this information is provided. Featured at the AHSL exhibit booth were handouts on MedlinePlus in both English and Spanish, along with NIHSeniorHealth brochures.

This conference was an incredible experience; both survivors and non-survivors were present. Stories were shared, which provided a feeling of communities coming together. All participants stopped by every booth and were very thankful for the information provided. The other exhibit booths featured additional local resources, which are readily accessible to conference attendees. We are looking forward to next year’s 8th annual “Vida” conference!

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