On International Women’s Day, the American Cancer Society selected two Colombian organizations to mentor and host young scholars supported by the organization as a part of a new initiative launched this year. The society’s “All of Me” program is part of a public/private partnership with German pharmaceutical giant Merck and will provide funding of $15,000 USD to both the Liga Colombiana Contra el Cáncer and the Fundación para la Prevención y el Tratamiento del Cáncer.
The funds are intended to support the career development and mentoring of students and young professionals interested in acquiring work experience in the field of women’s cancer prevention and early detection. Two other organizations in Latin America, Tómatelo a Pecho of Mexico and the Femama of Brazil, were also recipients.
“It is an investment in the future of women’s health,” said 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 one 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.”
The Liga Colombiana Contra el Cáncer is an organization that works in the department of Meta, helping to engage providers from its various clinics to give 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 is currently broadening the scope of its existing cancer control training activities with primary care physicians of the Red de Salud Ladera, a network of health providers serving vulnerable groups in Cali.
The scholar recipients of the All in Me program, known as Todo Mi Ser in Colombia, have yet to be selected, but the American Cancer Society said that it expects the final awardees to be picked later this year. “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,” said the American Cancer Society in a statement.
Photo credit: Frankie Leon