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Released September 12, 2003


HATTIESBURG - The fourth annual installment of a conference aimed at uniting health service professionals and members of the community in the fight against cancer will be held Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 at the Oasis Spa and Resort in Gulfport.

The One Voice-Many Faces: United Against Cancer Conference is being sponsored by The University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Sustainable Health Outreach (CSHO), in conjunction with numerous other agencies.

Among those agencies are the Deep South Network for Cancer Control, the Mississippi State Department of Health, Purdue Pharma LP, Memorial Hospital of Gulfport, the American Cancer Society, Information and Quality Healthcare, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, the Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative and the Women First Resource Center.

Susan Mayfield-Johnson, a program coordinator with the CSHO, is coordinating One Voice-Many Faces: United Against Cancer.

Mayfield-Johnson said: "The purpose (of the conference) is to educate individuals in the community and in the health professions about the impact that cancer has. Another by-product is to improve relationships between health service people and people in the community."

Breaking down walls of misunderstanding about cancer and issues relating to cancer will be a big focus of the conference, Mayfield-Johnson said.

"People in the health professions sometimes think that members of the community don't understand," Mayfield-Johnson said. "People in the community sometimes think doctors and nurses don't listen."

The conference will also serve to help people involved in the fight against cancer from across the state better coordinate their efforts at education, prevention and treatment, Mayfield-Johnson said.

"We want to create partnerships across the state so that we're not all building the same wheel," she said. "We want to take four wheels and make a car."

Areas of need in the fight against cancer will also be a topic of discussion at the conference. For instance, Mayfield-Johnson said, there is currently no infrastructure set up for cancer screening in the Mississippi Delta.

There will also be two focus group sessions conducted at the conference, to determine from health professionals and community members what should be included in a Statewide Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan that is being developed, Mayfield-Johnson said.

Registration for One Voice-Many Faces: United Against Cancer is $35. For more information on how to attend, call (601) 266-6266.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM