BHOP News August 2014


Dear Avon BHOP Grantees,

I am saddened to share with you all the recent passing of a dear colleague and social justice advocate, Dr. Steven Whitman. Throughout his remarkable four-decade public health career, Dr. Whitman was a public health visionary, always using scientific research to support his call for action against social inequity and racism. The director of Chicago's Sinai Urban Health Institute, Dr. Whitman was the recipient of the 2012 Helen Rodriguez-Trìas Social Justice Award, an award that honors public health professionals who have worked toward social justice for underserved and disadvantage populations. Dr. Whitman (or Steve as many of us knew him) was also a close colleague of the Avon Foundation for Women and he consistently demonstrated his deep commitment to improving access to universal health care, particularly for women and children throughout his research and advocacy work.

A challenger to conventional thinking around increasing health equity, Steve always emphasized the need for comprehensive analysis, but also the need for courage, authenticity, and passion when working to engage communities and enact positive public health change. Steve once said that, "to effectively address health inequity we must burst out of the institution-based model and into the community," reaching individuals at their workplace and in their local environment and, more importantly, viewing them as people and not just patients. A leader in the field, Steve knew that while access to quality health care is essential, reaching people before they come through health center doors is just as important.

The author of over 100 publications and the co-author of three major breast cancer-related articles just this year, Steve believed that there are two interrelated paths to reducing health disparities. Along the first path, he suggested we attack all systemic or fundamental contributors that have aided in creating disparities, such as racism, poverty or gender barriers. Simultaneously, Steve believed that the second and intersecting path should be around coordination with the affected communities, implementing and evaluating and replicating effective interventions, and learning from those that are not.

With over 400 public health presentations and countless contributions to the field, Steve was a tiller of windmills, a natural leader fueled by his strong convictions and unwavering courage. He was the outspoken voice for many, and his honesty and passion will be truly missed.

As our Avon BHOP team remembers Steve and his remarkable contribution to public health, we would also like to thank you, our partners and grantees, for your commitment and dedication to helping us increase access to quality health care for women. We are grateful to be working with you to enact positive change for communities most in need.




In early 2013, CAI was selected by Dr. Paul Goss, Director of Breast Cancer Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center (MGHCC) and Director of Avon Breast Cancer Center of Excellence to conduct a research and evaluation project that examined the relationship between pregnancy, lactation and breast cancer. Read More.


Although the enactment of ACA has significantly increased the number of Americans with health insurance, there are still many who are not enrolled to receive these benefits. To read about the great work that BHOP grantees are doing in Kansas and Michigan to provide support and healthcare to the underinsured and underserved women in their communities, click here.

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The Fanny Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation , our BHOP grantee in Mississippi, was looking for unique ways to raise funds while also raising awareness and increasing outreach efforts. Read More.


 Check out our website's current ACA resources to help you better assist your clients. Read More.