The Poe Center Supports Breast Health Education in Halifax County

Terri Moore, M.Ed. – Health Educator

Halifax County is battling breast cancer.  Breast cancer incidence rates in Halifax have steadily increased over the last 17 years.  The county also has the highest incidence and second highest mortality rates out of 29 counties in its region.  Screening numbers for women 40 and over in the county are also much lower than the state average.

During the last year, the Poe Center collaborated with Halifax Community College, Audrey Hardy and the Roanoke Valley Breast Cancer Coalition to create “Gladiators 4 the Girls,” an education and mammography referral program for Halifax County women.  The program was funded through a grant from the Susan G. Komen, Triangle to the Coast Affiliate.

Gladiators 4 the Girls display

Gladiators 4 the Girls display at a community event in Halifax County.

During the program, Poe Center staff recruited and trained ten lay health educators (aka Gladiators 4 the Girls) from Halifax Community College’s Women of Excellence program.  For seven months, the Gladiators worked in the community providing education about the importance of mammography.  They also offered referral information for both screening mammography and screening for possible enrollment in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP).  BCCCP offers funding for uninsured and under-insured women to have screening mammography free of charge, as well as follow-up treatment when necessary.

The Gladiators and Poe Center staff offered thirty-minute educational sessions, as well as information, referral and incentives at community events all across the county.  In those months, the Gladiators provided education to almost 850 women and made 450 referrals for BCCCP and mammography.

The Poe Center would like to thank the following Halifax County businesses for their support of this important program.  Each business donated merchandise and/or gift cards.  With the generous donations, the Poe Center was able to offer prizes to attendees at events and conducted drawings for two gift bags from all of the referrals that went to the mammography department for screening.

WalMart, Roanoke Rapids – Manager Kevin Hotovy and Assistant Manager Derrick Branford

Cracker Barrel, Roanoke Rapids – Manager Chris Kopka

Ralph’s BBQ, Weldon – Manager Kim Amerson

New Dixie Oil Company, Roanoke Rapids

Abram’s BBQ and Seafood, Scotland Neck – Owner Gerald Abrams, Co-Owner Powell Kemp

Dunkin Donuts, Halifax – Manager Chuck Martin

Piggly Wiggly, Littleton – Manager Gloria Hedgepath