Personality: Regina N. Hall
Spotlight on co-chair of Central Virginia Chapter of the Sisters Network Community Health Fair
8/26/2016, 7:29 a.m.
When Sisters Network was founded: Sisters Network Inc. (SNI) was founded in 1994 in Houston by Karen E. Jackson. There are now more than 40 survivor-run affiliate chapters nationwide with more than 3,000 members.
Reason for founding: The organization’s purpose is to save lives and provide a broader scope of knowledge that addresses the breast cancer survivorship crisis affecting African-American women around the country. SNI is nationally recognized within the medical community and is a critical resource for African-American women fighting breast cancer.
When Central Virginia Chapter was founded: SNCVA was founded in January 2005 by Zelma Watkins.
Mission of organization: Our local chapter promotes the importance of the three steps to early detection: Monthly breast self-exam, yearly clinical exam and yearly mammogram for women 40 years and older; younger, with a family history of breast cancer.
Brief profile of membership: SNCVA has three levels of membership: Survivors, associate members and volunteers. Membership requires participation in sponsored activities.
Number of members: 31 — 18 survivors, eight associate members and five volunteers.
How people can get involved with organization: Interested parties may contact SNCVA at (804) 447-4027 or visit our office at 105 E. Clay St. in Jackson Ward.
Community Health Fair activities include: We will utilize the services of 15-plus health-related vendors for screenings for the entire family. The UVA mammography mobile van will be available for on-site mammograms for those who have preregistered. We also will have local talent performing throughout the day, including Cora Harvey Armstrong, M’Renee, Joye B. Moore, NYCE, Fifth Baptist Adult Praise Dancers and much more.
Relationship of Sisters Network with American Cancer Society: SNCVA supports the mission of the ACS in eradicating all types of cancer. We work together to connect those in need with services available within each organization. We support each other’s outreach activities as well.
Chapter’s No. 1 challenge: To increase chapter membership.
How I plan to meet it: To devote increased attention at Pink Ribbon (monthly chapter worship at local churches) and other outreach activities to proactively recruit survivors to become members. The recruitment of new members will give us an opportunity to solicit the support of family and friends who may, in turn, be interested in becoming associate members or volunteers. A viable working membership can best be maintained when a vested interest is held by all.
How to deal with breast cancer diagnosis: First, pray for God’s grace and guidance. Be open and communicate your concerns to your family, doctors and others involved in your medical treatment. Don’t be afraid to make hard decisions. Trust that God’s grace and your support system will help you get through the storm.
Importance of family support: Family can be your greatest support system. Open communication is the key. Let them know what your needs, fears, and concerns are and allow them to help shoulder the burden of the journey. Their direct involvement with your medical team is critical for a successful outcome. Use them, as they are the best resource to take notes, keep up with appointments, interpret medical direction and to keep you on track for a full recovery. Know that they love you and have your best interests at heart.