2007-10-19 / Community

New Council Initiative Spotlights Women's Health Issues

Breast Cancer Awareness Starts Off Program
By Miriam Rosenberg

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn kicked off a new initiative, Women First: Health Starts With You, at the beginning of October - just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

"I am so excited to launch the new initiative," said Quinn on the City Council website. "Too often, women prioritize the needs of others first - at home, at work, with family, with friends, and in relationships. Please join with me and women across the city in making the next year one in which we focus on ourselves and our health as a major priority."

The program will spotlight different health issues and ways women can address them.

"Every month, we will be working with our partners on promoting one of the 12 ways that women can be healthier," continued Quinn, who became the first woman speaker of the legislative body in January, 2006. "This month, we're working to make sure that women take the time to get screened for breast cancer, and know that there are even free or low-cost mammograms for any city resident."

There are two main goals to the program - to increase awareness among New York City women about major health risks and to improve women's prevention efforts and health outcomes on a variety of indicators.

The Health and Hospitals Corporation is offering free or low-cost mammograms at the following sites in Queens County: Elmhurst Hospital Center at 79-01 Broadway (718-334- 3150) and Queens Hospital Center at 82-68 164 Street in Jamaica (718-883- 4509). Eligible women can receive clinical breast exams, mammograms and Pap tests by contacting the Queens Healthy Living Partnership of the American Cancer Society. It is located at 97-77 Queens Boulevard, Suite 1110 in Rego Park (718-263-2225).

Among the health issues to be spotlighted over the next year are diabetes, domestic violence, HIV, colonoscopies for women over 50 and the importance of having a gynecologist.

Women can check the City Council website for more information and for a complete list of the 12 health tips. Those interested can go to http://www.nyccouncil.info/html/wome nfirst/index.cfm and www.nyccouncil. info/html/womenfirst/12tips.cfm.

In addition, women can sign up to receive the latest New York City Women First updates.

The agencies partnering with the City Council on the Women's First program are the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the New York City Commission on Women's Issues, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, the City University of New York and the Maurer Foundation for Breast Health Education.

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