New York Chapter (New York)

Chapter Leaders:

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Michele Appel Prigo, PhD, CHES
(Chapter Leader since February 2009)    
Kawanza Billy
(Chapter Leader since September 2013)    
Denise Holland
(Chapter Leader since October 2013)
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A message from Chapter Leader Michele Appel Prigo, MA, CHES:
My interest in HPV and cervical cancer started in a way that so many can relate to. After years of getting my annual Pap tests and gladly receiving normal results, there I was, in my early 30s and married, and learning that not only was I HPV+, but that it had somehow gone undetected and advanced to CIN III.

Turning emotions into energy, I began researching all I could and that’s when I came across the National Cervical Cancer Coalition. Learning how common HPV is was both a relief, and unsettling.

It was a relief because I was still struggling to understand how this could happen to me. So knowing that nearly 80% of sexually active adults acquire HPV at some point during their life provided me the reassurance I needed that the journey I was on was not insurmountable.

However, I also found it unsettling that it is the most common sexually transmitted infection and yet I didn’t know much about it other than there was a vaccine and I was too old for it.

After the CIN III diagnosis I had a LEEP procedure and am on an every 6-month follow-up schedule. I am happy to say my Pap tests have been consistently normal.

Everyday I am thankful that my doctor co-tested me and did a Pap and HPV DNA test. It was the combination of these two that lead to early detection, and has put me on this journey to educate others.

As the Chapter Leader for NCCC of NYC, I am on a mission to create awareness, promote screening, and provide a home for those seeking information and support.

Welcome to NCCC of NYC!

To get involved with NCCC of NYC please contact Michele Appel Prigo.

Michele Appel Prigo on Dr. Oz

NCCC NY Chapter Leader Michele Appel Prigo appeared on the Dr. Oz show on October 11, 2012, to share her story and raise awareness about HPV and cervical cancer. Michele discussed her experience being diagnosed with high-risk HPV through a routine HPV test. Prior to the HPV test, Michele had never had an abnormal Pap test result in the past in all her years of regular screening, and in fact had never heard of the HPV test. Michele's story highlights the importance of the HPV test as a screening test for women over 30, in addition to the Pap test.

Click here to watch part 1 of Michele's story and here for part 2.

Michele also shared her story with cervical cancer survivor and advocate Tamika Felder for her project, Cervivor. Here Michele discusses why it’s so important to understand HPV, to know what tests are available and to know how to best protect yourself from HPV and cervical cancer.


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January was a busy month for the NY chapter, with a number of activities planned to promote Cervical Health Awareness Month in January. Chapter leaders Kawanza Billy and Michele Appel Prigo were showcased on WHCR 90.3FM radio talking about HPV and cervical cancer prevention. The chapter also held a cervical health seminar with healthcare profesionals at Access Community Health Center and sponsored a Karoke fundraiser at a popular venue in Harlem.

More recently, in September, chapter leader Michele Appel Prigo was honored with an award for her advocacy work from Color of Teal, an all-volunteer gynecologic cancer advocacy organization based in the New York City.

Local Resources

Cancer Services Program - Community Programs List
Bureau of Chronic Disease Control, New York State Department of Health
To be connected to free cervical, breast, or colorectal cancer screening, diagnostic, treatment and support services in your community call 1-866-442-CANCER.

Free or low-cost Pap testing
Tel: (800) 227-2345

HPV Vaccine
Tel: 311 (NYC Only)



Want to learn more about the NCCC of NYC? Interested in volunteering for an upcoming event or fundraiser, or just getting more information? Contact Michele Appel Prigo to learn more and visit our Facebook Page.

Donate to the New York City Chapter