Chapter Leader Shaundra Hall:
After being diagnosed with cervical cancer at 28, my life took an unexpected and amazing turn. I am now a nearly 20 year survivor and proud to be the Regional Director of the Southwest Chapter for NCCC/ASHA. I am also the Chair of the NCCC-ASHA steering committee, whose primary mission is to formulate a cohesive direction for its chapters. I support, educate and promote cervical cancer prevention and HPV cancer prevention and awareness and travel the country learning about the latest scientific developments regarding HPV related diseases. In turn, I educate local communities through speeches, informal community forums and corporate wellness presentations. I am former member of the board of directors for Arizona Assistance in Health Care, Inc., whose mission is to award grants for non-medical expenses for qualifying patients currently undergoing cancer treatment in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Currently, I am a member of the Cancer Prevention and Control Board of the Central IRB with the NIH. The NCCC and ASHA do such amazing work for patients and caregivers alike and I am honored to be a part of serving them. I am always looking for others who want to support the NCCC’s mission so if you live in the Southwest and would like to make a difference, I would enjoy hearing from you!
Chapter Liasion Gail Petersen Hock
Gail Petersen Hock is a board certified public/community health clinical nurse specialist and advanced practice public health nurse. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Community Health Nursing from Arizona State University. Gail studied epidemiology and public health ethics at Harvard School of Public Health, completed the Applied Health Informatics Program at Johns Hopkins University and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice at Brandman University in the Chapman System. She has been a hospital and school nurse, directed nurse-managed outreach clinics for the uninsured, and has more than a decade of experience as nursing faculty. Gail’s doctoral project Questions I Wished I’d Asked: Cervical Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Option Information for Women by Women was completed with the support of the American Sexual Health Association, the Arizona Chapter of NCCC and the contributions of all the cervical cancer survivors who participated in the study. Gail was diagnosed with Stage 0 cervical cancer in 1982 and is grateful for a complete recovery. It is her personal and professional mission to raise HPV vaccination rates in all adolescents to reduce the risk of HPV cancers in their futures.
Listen in as Dr. Peterson Hock appears on KJZZ to discuss the recent FDA decision approving HPV vaccination for adults ages 27-45!
Chapter Communications Director Blair Coe Schweiger
Blair is a fifth generation Arizonan, and takes great pride in the roles that her family had in the formation of the territory of Arizona and the development of the great state. She was born in a banana republic to rather adventurous parents, and has chased her hopes and dreams with a determined fierceness, from excursions with her mother through the tributaries of the Amazon River to running (albeit at a cautious and safe distance) with the bulls of San Fermin with her father. While she may not have been born in Arizona, she recognizes that Arizona has had a deep formative effect on her—Arizona is home. One of them, anyway. Blair has embraced Arizona just as she embraces all of life and what it has so graciously given her. Some of her community visions came from having lived so intimately close to the divide between those who have and those who have not—those who have wealth and those who experience poverty, those who have formal education and those who do not, those who have experienced joy and those whose lives have been touch by sorrow.
Aside from the education she received through life experience, she studied socio-cultural and medical anthropology at Arizona State University (with an emphasis on evolutionary biology) and is proud to have been the third woman in her family to go through that area of study. Blair also studied medicine at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Cumbaya, Ecuador. While there, she focused on maternal-child community health and worked with a community located high in the Andes to try and understand how traditional beliefs influenced child rearing practices. She has worked with populations that are as varied and as diverse as the world provides and has worked in many arenas from clinical research to youth development and empowerment programs. Blair was diagnosed with early stage cervical cancer in September 2014. She currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband, son, and dog.
Chapter Director of Social Media Lindsay Dowling
“I began to wage my war on HPV and cervical cancer at age 24 when my annual exam revealed dysplasia. Because knowledge is power, I did what most young women do when facing the unknown . . . I researched! Through my readings, I was stunned to learn how common HPV is in both men and women, and that cervical cancer is preventable. I won my first battle through simple treatment, but was confronted with a diagnosis of adenocarcinoma in situ ten years later. Following a successful surgery, I was again the victor. I have now been healthy now since 2013, but continue my crusade in the name of every mother, daughter, sister and wife who has fought for their life.
I am a successful sales executive, married to the love of my life and mother to two beautiful crazy children. I am an advocate, a volunteer, a listener and a shoulder to cry on. I am a survivor.
Cervical cancer is an ugly adversary and doesn’t fight fair. It can be relentless and doesn’t discriminate in whom it attacks. But it is an opponent we can beat.
Welcome to the fight!”
Big thanks to TruStrenth for their extreme generosity in supporting the Arizona chapter of the NCCC.
Want to learn more about the chapter? Interested in volunteering for an upcoming event or fundraiser, or just getting more information? Contact chapter leader Shaundra or communications director Blair.
You can also visit the local events page to check the calendar of events for this and other local chapters.
Cervical Cancer in Black Women
New research finds that women in the U.S. are dying from cervical cancer at rates far higher than previously realized, especially black women. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University examined the mortality rate (or death rate) with cervical cancer found a significant disparity between white women and black women. The authors say the racial differences likely stem from a variety of factors: compared to white women, black women have more barriers to health care and tend to be diagnosed with cervical cancer at a more advanced stage of disease (when the outcomes are poorer). They also note that differences in treatment may have a role, as black women with cervical cancer are at greater risk of inadequate care.
The video below, put together with assistance from the NCCC Arizona chapter, highlights the issue and emphasizes the importance of regular screening and vaccination to prevent cervical cancer.
The Arizona chapter is pleased to partner with Arizona Family Health Partnership (AFHP). AFHP is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to making reproductive healthcare and education available and accessible to all women, men and teens in Arizona, even if they lack health insurance or money. AFHP health centers are located throughout Arizona, including in rural areas.
The Arizona chapter is pleased to have The Arizona Partnership for Immunization as a supporter. Chapter leader Shaundra Hall was a featured speakers at TAPI’s September Community Awareness Meeting, speaking about the NCCC and our efforts to educate the public regarding HPV vaccines.
Cervical Health Awareness Month Presentation
60 women turned out for our Arizona Chapter of the NCCC for a Cervical Health Awareness Month presentation at Crossroad’s Flower location in Phoenix. Thanks to Crossroads Staff – Delia for organizing and Brooke for posing for the photo with Gail.
Most of all thanks to the women who attended who are working on their health and recovery!
Screening of Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic
The NCCC Southwest Regional chapter was on hand at a screening of Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic, sponsored by the Junior League of Phoenix, Scottsdale First Church of the Nazarene, The Arizona Partnership for Immunization (TAPI), Arizona Oncology, The Arizona Immunization Program Office and Genesis City. Read more about the event in the Valley Impact Magazine of the Junior League of Phoenix.
Arizona Family Health Partnership
3101 North Central Avenue, Suite 1120
Phoenix, Arizona 85012
Toll Free (888) 272-5652
Arizona Family Health Partnership is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to making reproductive healthcare and education available and accessible to all women, men and teens in Arizona, even if they lack health insurance or money. AFHP health centers are located throughout Arizona, including in rural areas.
HPV Cancer and Prevention Profile for Arizona
This document offers a profile of HPV-related cancers and prevention efforts in the state, including rates of cervical and oropharyngeal cancers, as well as HPV vaccination rates and missed opportunities for prevention.