CHPPR’s Salud en Mis Manos (SEMM) project is a breast cancer early detection and cervical cancer prevention program designed to assist Latinas with knowledge and strategies to take their health in their hands and prevent and detect these cancers early. The comprehensive program combines outreach, education, health coaching, and assistance obtaining clinical services into one community health worker-delivered intervention.
Latinas are diagnosed with cervical cancer twice as often as non-Hispanic white women and experience higher mortality rates. Additionally, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting Latinas. SEMM is an adaptation of Cultivando la Salud, an evidence-based program proven effective in Latinas. SEMM was developed to address the specific and complex breast and cervical cancer screening and vaccination barriers in this demographic.
“If it had not been for [the SEMM program’s] help in finding a place that would treat me at such a low cost without having insurance, I would not have been able to do it,” said one program participant in Fort Bend County. “[They] not only helped me but also my children because thanks to my eligibility, they were treated as well and I only paid $10. In addition, the fact that you accompanied me throughout the process, called me to make the appointment, reminded me of the appointment and also to know the results, thanks to all that work on your part made me attend the appointment and avoid worrying about knowing my results because I would have forgotten.”
SEMM’s community health workers collaborate with various community partners to identify women in need and deliver free classes on breast and cervical cancer prevention and early detection to Latinas 18 years and older. All participants also receive health coaching to assist them with overcoming their screening and vaccination barriers and identify and make appointments at low-cost/free clinics. The program is also able to cover the medical services of those participants who would otherwise not be able to access and afford these services.
SEMM is funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). Lara Savas, PhD is the Principal Investigator and Paula M. Cuccaro, PhD, Melissa Valerio, PhD, and Maria E. Fernandez, PhD, are Co-Investigators. You can learn more about SEMM at the collaborator and participant websites.