The Board and Staff of Florida Breast Cancer Foundation (FBCF) are proud to announce FBCF’s signature breast health education outreach program, Mammograms After Sunday Service (MASS), has been selected as a “Promising Practice” for a second year by the National Association of County and City Health Officials' (NACCHO) Model Practice Program.
The FBCF-managed program, partnered with the Florida Department of Health through its Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (FBCCEDP), aims to reduce the number of late-stage diagnoses in underserved African American and other minority communities by providing education and access to mammograms.
NACCHO’s mission is to improve the health of communities by strengthening and advocating for local health departments. NACCHO’s Model Practices Program nationally honors outstanding local public health practices and awards Model Practice designations to local health departments across the country for “implementing programs that demonstrate exemplary and replicable outcomes in response to an identified public health need.” Promising Practices are exciting approaches and strategies to local public health issues that are on track to becoming Model Practices. Each award undergoes a vigorous peer-evaluation process and is then selected from a competitive collection of applications.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women have a disproportionately higher mortality rate due to breast cancer when compared to white women. The statewide MASS program works to eliminate this racial disparity through empowerment and education about breast health awareness and the importance of getting mammograms.
Through educational seminars and partnerships with local health departments, the MASS program provides underinsured and uninsured women access to onsite mammograms or referrals, removing barriers due to cost, literacy, cultural, or transportation challenges, which often prevent these women from receiving vital screenings and services. Attendees who qualify for services through the health department are provided care coordination and follow-ups, including referrals to the Florida Medicaid Program should they be diagnosed with breast cancer through the program. Those qualified may receive paid breast cancer treatment through Medicaid.
The MASS program was originally founded by Pamela Burnett of The Beautiful Gate Cancer Support & Resource Center (TBG) in Miami and funded through FBCF education grants. In 2019, Ms. Burnett joined the FBCF as a staff member with the joint vision to expand the MASS program statewide. She has over 15 years of experience in community outreach and advocacy and is highly respected in the community for her activism regarding health issues for the underserved. Numerous organizations have rewarded and recognized her commitment to making a difference in the lives of others diagnosed with cancer. As a breast cancer survivor, she understands firsthand the damages that can stem from a lack of proper resources and education when diagnosed with a life-threatening disease.