Minnesota has always been fortunate to have gifted people working together to improve our quality of life in our state. Since Cancer Plan MN was created in 2005, many new collaborations and programs have been created to work towards the goal of reducing the burden of cancer among all Minnesotans. To recognize and honor a few of the exemplary collaborations and gifted leaders conducting valuable cancer-related work across the state, the Minnesota Cancer Alliance honored partners with the third annual Spirit of Collaboration Awards.
2011 Spirit of Collaboration Award winners:
Marie Tran, Vietnamese Social Services. In her position as Coordinator of the Cancer Education Program at VSS in St Paul, Marie works tirelessly to promote cancer screening amongst Vietnamese and other immigrants seeking services. She has arranged for over 60 people to be screened through the MN Colorectal Free Screening Day Project. With the help of a 2009 mini-grant and other funding, Marie produced a Vietnamese language DVD about colorectal cancer screening. Using local people telling their own stories the DVD describes colorectal cancer, demystifies the screening process and tells a cancer survivor’s story.
Marie Tran, Vietnamese Social Services
Free Screening Project Team, led by Marie Brown. Based on the model developed at Fairview Southdale, more than 120 patients were screened for colon cancer at 5 different hospitals. This partnership became the basis for the current CDC-funded Sage Scopes Program which is providing screenings to the uninsured through Health Partners and Hennepin County Medical Center. In 2010, Fairview Southdale agreed to provide similar screenings free of charge. This time, instead of doing all of the screenings in one day, they spread 30 screenings appointments across two weeks. In the end, in 2010, 30 patients were schedule, 28 exams occurred, 5 patients were identified as high risk and a polyp was indentified in one patient.
2011 Spirit of Collaboration honorable mentions:
Diane Davies, Circle in the Field. In 2010, a small, community-based, support group of breast cancer survivors in Hastings, Minnesota, led by Diane Davies, took on a bold challenge: to create a virtual support group via a DVD documentary entitled 'Voices of Hope.' Diane’s idea was to reach patients immediately after diagnosis—a time few seek a support group—with personal stories on screen from survivors from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences with breast cancer. Her purpose was to help patients navigate the early weeks of breast cancer treatment with much greater calm, hope and empowerment.
Pink Deafies, led by Nancy Meyers. The Pink Deafies is a breast cancer support group for Deaf women in Minnesota. United under the banner of a quilt, the women meet monthly to offer support to one another, to plan educational conferences, and to discuss how to reach out to more women who might benefit from the group’s work. In this way, the Pink Deafies are not like any support group in the hearing world. Signing On, a very moving film, was created to increase awareness about the challenges deaf women experience with communication in a hearing dominated American healthcare system.
2011 Spirit of Collaboration nominees:
Voices of Hope DVD Project. Voices of Hope tells the story of twelve breast cancer survivors of diverse ethnicity, age, class and sexual orientation. These twelve women tell how they coped with the news of diagnosis, painful emotions, families and partners, many challenges, and moments of grace and triumph. To date, the team has distributed more than 5,000 copies of Voices of Hope, free of charge, to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, primarily through physicians and cancer care coordinators.
Mino Bimaadiziiwin Colorectal Cancer Collaborative. Mino Bimaadiziiwin (Healthy Living) was formed in January 2007. The group's mission is to provide education and outreach around colorectal cancer screening. In 2010, Leech Lake screened 60 people; White Earth screened 7 and Red Lake screened 12. An additional 50 non-Native people were screened through the MN Legislative funded program.
The awards were presented at the Cancer Summit 2011 pre-Summit Reception Wednesday, March 23 2011 at Minneapolis Airport Mariott in Bloomington. It was an enjoyable presentation celebrating the outstanding collaborations and leadership of many different Minnesota Cancer Alliance members and partners working collectively to reduce the burden of cancer throughout the state.