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Organization and Committees


Sections:

 

Access to Care Committee

Our Mission

The goal of the Access to Care Committee is to increase access to cancer care and expand cancer services across a continuum of care (screening, diagnosis, treatment, acute care and chronic care) in Suffolk County by working in a cooperative and collaborative manner with healthcare providers, hospitals, physician practices, relevant government agencies, community based organizations and stakeholders representing the community at large.

Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles

Every person in Suffolk County should have access to comprehensive cancer care services. The Access to Care Committee seeks to make a difference in the lives of the residents of Suffolk County through education promotion, open discussion, sincere commitment, and constant exploration of traditional and novel approaches to addressing identified challenges.

 

Focus Areas of Concern

  • The Public is not aware of cancer services provided in their community
  • Patients diagnosed with cancer have difficulty navigating the health care system
  • Uninsured and underinsured Suffolk County residents do not have equal excess to cancer care services

Committee Membership

Action Plan

  • Promote access to healthcare via Public Health Insurance Programs by referring the uninsured to facilitated enrollers
  • Support local and national legislative advocacy opportunities
  • Support an expedited process for newly diagnosed cancer patients to obtain "cancer insurance" for immediate treatment and care

 

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Member Organizations

Suffolk County Cancer Prevention and Health Promotion Coalition

Chair:

Dr. James Tomarken
MD, MPH, MBA, MSW

Member
Organizations

Cancer Services Program of Suffolk County

Arlene Allen
Maureen O’Connor

HealthyPlanet

Bob DiBenedetto

Department of Preventive Medicine

Cordia Beverley, MD
John Kovach, MD

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone's Office

Connie Corso, Budget Director

Suffolk County Legislature

The Honorable Sarah Anker, Legislative 6th District

Suffolk County Water Authority

Carrie Meek Gallagher, M.S., MBA, LEED AP BD&C

Suffolk County Department of Health Services

Commissioner
James Tomarken, MD, MPH, MBA, MSW
Administration
Amy Juchatz
Grace Kelly-McGovern
Office of Health Education
Lori Benincasa
Office of Minority Health
Gregson Pigott, MD, MPH
Suffolk County Department of Civil Service/Public Information
Debbie Epple, retired

 

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Prevention and Committee

Guiding Principles

Important and significant steps must be taken to help people prevent cancer through the adoption of healthy lifestyles and reduction of exposure to suspected environmental factors.

 

Did You Know?

Dietary factors account for about 30% of all cancers? By including a wide array of healthy plant foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes such as beans and maintaining a healthy weight, you can also reduce the incidence of many other serious diseases.

It can be as simple as learning how to navigate your grocery store aisles. By making small changes every week you can make great strides toward eating a health-promoting diet in a short period of time - while saving money!

Healthy Lifestyles

Given that tobacco smoking, dietary choices and physical activity are the most important modifiable determinants of cancer risk demonstrated to date, together accounting for the majority of all cancers in the US, and that it is now clear that related behavioral changes can enable individuals to significantly reduce their cancer risk, it is imperative that we disseminate broad and clear education on the power of these lifestyle changes to Long Island residents of all ages, with an emphasis on children.

There will be major benefits from this education in other areas, as following cancer-reduction dietary recommendations alone, including eating more fruits and vegetables, eating fewer foods high in saturated fats, (fried foods, full-fat dairy products, processed, red and fatty cuts of meat) and less processed and refined foods, will greatly reduce the incidence of other serious diseases that kill an estimated three out of four Americans each year, and are responsible for the majority of our nation’s health care costs. These other lifestyle-related diseases include, but are not limited to heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes.

It's important that a healthy diet and regular physical activity remain goals for everyone. The greatest impact on disease, however, comes when such individual changes are supported by changes in society at large, such as better sidewalks for walking and healthier offerings in school cafeterias and Suffolk County facilities. Only through the synergy of such changes can the true potential of healthy lifestyles be reached.

 

Did You Know?

Your skin is the body’s largest organ. Grooming products can contain toxic chemicals and when applied to our skin may wind up in our bloodstream. Luckily, we can choose products that make us look good without harming our health.

Environmental Exposures

Given the evidence that Suffolk County residents are routinely exposed to thousands of chemical in air, water, soil, food and personal care products, the fact that many these chemicals have not been thoroughly tested for long-term safety, and that studies have shown that most people, including newborns currently have a chemical body burden, including carcinogenic agents, implementation of a precautionary approach to decision-making by state and local agencies becomes imperative. This precautionary approach is based on the premise that government, business, and society as a whole have a duty to prevent harm to public health or the environment where credible evidence exists that harm is occurring or is likely to occur, even when the exact nature and full magnitude of harm is not yet proven.

Based on National Cancer Institute Estimates (data from 2001-2005)

Note: average number of cancer deaths per year in Suffolk County is 2,845

 

Did You Know? CANCER CAN BE PREVENTED

Personal lifestyle choices can help reduce the risk of cancer. 50 to 75% of all cancer deaths in the US could be prevented by modifying lifestyle

Tobacco Smoking

30% of all cancer deaths could be prevented by eliminating the smoking of tobacco products

Obesity and Physical Activity

25 to 30% of cancer deaths are caused by obesity and physical inactivity. Obesity alone is estimated to cause 14% of cancer deaths in men and 20% in women

Goals

Promote Healthy Lifestyle:

  • Tobacco and Secondhand Smoke
  • Diet
  • Exercise/Activity Level
  • Alcohol
  • Sun Protection (ultraviolet radiation)
  • Personal Care/Product Choices
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Drug Abuse

Reduce Environmental Exposures:

  • Personal Care/Consumer Products (e.g., Safe and Sustainable Procurement, Green Clean Procurement Policy)
  • Chemical Pesticides, Fertilizers, etc. (e.g., Pesticide Phase Out)
  • Environmental Risk/Exposure Assessment (programs to evaluate environmental exposures and risks)
  • Pharmaceuticals in Water
  • Heavy Metals in Drinking Water
  • Energy Related Issues (e.g., diesel exhaust, PAHs, dovetail with Energy initiatives)
  • Air Quality Related Issues

 

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Diverse Population Committee

Hands holding ribbons

Background

Life expectancy and overall health have improved in recent years for a large number of Americans, due to an increased focus on preventive medicine and dynamic new advances in medical technology. However, not all Americans are benefiting equally. There are continuing disparities in the burden of illness and death experienced by African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, American Indians/Alaska Natives, as compared to the U.S. population as a whole.

 

Our Mission

The goal of the Diverse Populations Committee is to reduce the burden of cancer in Suffolk County. The Diverse Population Committee seeks to identify and address cancer health disparities among minority and medically underserved communities in Suffolk County.

Guiding Principles

The Diverse Populations Committee wants to ensure that minority and medically underserved populations in Suffolk County are equipped with the tools and resources necessary to make uniformed decisions about their health and healthcare services they receive.

Focus Areas of Concern

  • Lack of knowledge about cancer
  • Lack of knowledge about available cancer resources and services
  • Limited understanding of different communication pathways within communities
  • Awareness of the importance of cultural sensitivity among healthcare professionals providing services to minority patients
  • Limited use of evidence-based approaches from the public health workforce
  • Access to tertiary care, once diagnosed

 

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Media Committee

Our Mission

The mission of the Cancer Awareness Task Force Media Committee is to disseminate the information of the Task Force in order to increase awareness in Suffolk County residents of the actions they can take to reduce the burden of cancer in Suffolk County.

Strategy of the Media Committee

Website: The Cancer Awareness Task Force website is a key component of the Media Committee’s strategy to disseminate the information of the Task Force. Background information on the Cancer Awareness Task Force, and Committees, Smart Tips, Questions and Answers (links), and additional resources are provided and updated regularly.

Logo: The Media Committee has developed a logo, which is used to “brand” Task Force outreach materials. Incorporated in the logo are the words Educate, Empower, Act, which represent the overall goal of the Task Force.

Press Releases: The Media Committee develops press releases and public service announcements as a means to disseminate information through our media contacts and the County Press Offices.

 

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Suffolk County Government

H. Lee Dennison Bldg

100 Veterans Memorial Hwy
P.O. Box 6100
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Riverhead County Center

County Road 51
Riverhead, NY 11901