By Patricia Udelhoven, December 2012
St. Vincent Healthcare with the help from Avon BHOP has created The Avon Breast Health Advisory Council (ABHAC) at our agency. This advisory group is comprised of women representing American Indian Women on the seven American Indian Reservations in Montana (which houses eleven federally recognized tribes with one additional tribe seeking recognition) and the Urban American Indian Women living off of the reservations. The ABHAC promotes culturally sensitive breast cancer screening outreach education strategies', ensuring the program is designed to serve current breast health education needs.
Our Avon Breast Health Advisory Council meets quarterly to discuss the best strategies for providing outreach in their communities, lessons learned, barriers to care, and upcoming events the Council members are planning.
We have found that the Avon Breast Health Advisory Council is very beneficial not only to St. Vincent Healthcare, but to other organizations throughout Montana who are also providing outreach services to the American Indian population, which is the largest minority population in Montana. The Council has created strong partnerships and continues to grow through experience and lessons learned!