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American Cancer Society Celebrates Young Scholars Joining All of Me Projects in Latin America to Support a New Generation of Women's Health Advocates
Organizations in Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia Awarded Funds to Recruit, Select and Mentor Young Public Health Scholars

ATLANTA, March 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In celebration of International Women's Day, the American Cancer Society is proud to announce it has selected four cancer organizations in Latin America to host young scholars in the All of Me program launched earlier this year.  As part of a growing public-private collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, each host organization will receive $15,000 to support the mentorship of students and young professionals interested in acquiring advocacy work experience in the field of women's cancer prevention and early detection.

The All of Me Young Scholar collaboration will provide the infusion of young talent, input and perspective into each unique All of Me project that aims to offer women and girls opportunities to gain a holistic understanding of their own health, raise awareness and advocate for women's health more broadly.  

The host organizations are the Federação Brasileira de Instituções Filantrópicas de Apoio à Saúde da Mama (Brazil), Tómatelo a Pecho (Mexico), the Liga Colombiana contra el Cáncer (Colombia), and the Fundación para la Prevención y el Tratamiento del Cáncer (Colombia). Each Young Scholar will reside in the country where their host organization is based, and each will be selected through a competitive process.

"With these leading cancer organizations, the Young Scholars will have the opportunity to learn from experts and to develop critical skills in cancer prevention and early detection. It is an investment in the future of women's health," says Ambassador Sally Cowal, senior vice president of global cancer control for the American Cancer Society. "The toll of cancer in Latin America is huge, with over 1 million people diagnosed each year, and the bulk of this burden falls on women. Our scholars will be exceptional young adults who have an interest in women's cancers and are about to take the first steps into their career. We want to ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge and resources that they need to be the most effective educators and advocates possible."

"We are inordinately pleased to invest in young minds to help improve the future of cancer care for women in emerging economies," commented Belén Garijo, CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and member of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany's Executive Board. "We see this initiative in partnership with the American Cancer Society as part of our obligation to remedy unfair gender differentials in healthcare that prevent women from living up to their economic potential to the benefit of all. As such, this important new program goes hand in hand with our 'Healthy Women, Healthy Economies' initiative."

The partnership between Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and the American Cancer Society focuses on raising awareness and strengthening advocacy around cancer in women.  It is part of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany's leadership of the Healthy Women, Healthy Economies initiative, which explicitly links the issue of women's health and well-being with economic growth.

All of Me Young Scholars are expected to be formally announced later this year. For more information on the American Cancer Society's global cancer control work, please visit cancer.org/global.

The following are the All of Me projects that will be supported by Young Scholars:

The Federação Brasileira de Instituções Filantrópicas de Apoio à Saúde da Mama (FEMAMA, Brazil) is working with the Basic Health Units and Family Health Teams in some of Porto Alegre's most populous and vulnerable districts to identify common solutions to enhance the role of community health workers (CHWs), key primary care actors in the Brazilian public health system, as promoters of women's health information.

The Liga Colombiana contra el Cáncer (Colombia) is using a "cascade" method to engage providers from its own clinics in the Colombian Meta region to provide mentorship and training on breast and cervical cancer education to primary care providers in their respective communities.

The Fundación para la Prevención y el Tratamiento del Cáncer (Colombia) is scaling up and broadening the scope of its existing cancer control training activities with primary care physicians of the Red de Salud Ladera, a network of low-complexity health providers serving vulnerable groups in Santiago de Cali, Colombia´s second largest city.

Tómatelo a Pecho (Mexcio) is leading the establishment of a multidisciplinary working group on women's health and collaborating with key public health institutions in Mexico to promote an integrated diagonal approach to breast and cervical cancers among health providers. Tómatelo a Pecho will supplement these efforts with the development of a complementary online training.

About All of Me:
All of Me is a cancer education program developed to offer women and girls opportunities to gain a holistic understanding of their health to reduce their cancer risk, increase their ability to find cancer early and to stay healthy. Under the names "Todo mi ser" in Mexico and Colombia and "Tudo sobre mim" in Brazil, the All of Me program recognizes that primary and reproductive healthcare and workplace settings are all key to ensuring women receive appropriate cancer prevention and early detection information on preventing cervical cancer, detecting breast cancer early and reducing risk factors associated with these and other cancers. The American Cancer Society works with cancer organizations to engage partners, health clinics and workplaces, and to promote local leadership and innovation for effective implementation of evidence-based cancer education and interventions.

About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2 million volunteers saving lives in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 23 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. We're finding cures as the nation's largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org.



SOURCE American Cancer Society

For further information: Ashley Engelman, 1-312-502-7443, ashley.engelman@cancer.org