August 21-23, 2002
San Antonio - Scientists, physicians, educators and other leading authorities on issues related to cancer among the country's 35 million Latinos gathered in San Antonio August 21-23 to discuss the efforts of Redes En Acción: The National Hispanic/Latino Cancer Network in promoting Latino cancer research, training and awareness.
At the meeting's introductory session Thursday morning (August 22), keynote speaker Harold P. Freeman, MD, Director of the National Cancer Institute's recently created Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities, presented a report on the Center's efforts and other NCI minority cancer health activities. Dr. Freeman is also Associate Director of NCI as well as former chairman and present member of the President's Cancer Panel.
"Dr. Freeman has long been recognized nationally as a champion of cancer prevention and control among minority populations," said Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, Principal Investigator of Redes En Acción (Networks in Action). "His participation in our National Steering Committee meeting certainly focuses our efforts as we chart the course for future Redes En Acción Latino cancer health action."
In addition to the Thursday morning presentation, Dr. Freeman was the guest speaker for the meeting's opening reception and dinner Wednesday, August 21.
U.S. Congressman Ciro D. Rodriguez, Honorary Chairman of Redes En Acción, formally launched the meeting's working agenda at 8:30 a.m. Thursday (August 22) with a review of Congressional action on Latino health issues.
Singer/Songwriter Soraya. Another highlight of the three-day meeting was an appearance by award-winning performer Soraya, a breast cancer survivor and honorary member of the Redes En Acción National Steering Committee. The Miami-based singer/songwriter, who is the Latina spokesperson for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, received a Redes En Acción award for promoting cancer awareness among Latinos. She gave a presentation and brief musical performance at the awards luncheon at noon Thursday (August 22).
Also honored at the luncheon was the late Miguel A. Medina, PharmD, former Associate Dean of Student Affairs in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and longtime advocate for increased Latino participation in the medical science field. Accepting the Redes En Acción Cancer Training Award was his wife, Johnnie Word Medina.
What Is Redes En Acción? Redes En Acción is a major NCI-supported initiative to combat cancer among Latinos through a nationwide network of community-based organizations, research institutions, government health agencies and the public. Core activities include promoting cancer training and research opportunities for Latino students and researchers, generating research projects on key Latino cancer issues, and supporting cancer awareness activities within the Latino community.
The initiative is coordinated by the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and San Antonio, with regional network centers in San Antonio, New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and San Diego.