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Public Health Epidemiology Conversations

Feb 5, 2019

Cierra Sisters is a community-based organization created by and for African Americans with cancer in the greater Seattle WA area.  Cierra Sisters fills a critical public health need by breaking the cycle of fear, increasing knowledge concerning breast cancer in the African-American and underserved communities.  The organization empowers the African American community through local, national, and global events and partnerships. Cierra Sisters has partnered with major cancer research institutes, and academic research partners to advance its mission. 

During the Society for the Analysis of African American Public Health Issues (SAAPHI) conference, I sat next to the founder of Cierra Sisters, Bridgette Hempstead, and we became fast friends. She presented research at the conference and promoted the organization. Bridgette is a 23 year three times breast cancer survivor!  The more I learned about her and the organization, the more I was intrigued, inspired, and moved to action.  I knew I wanted to support her organization in some way, and also knew that I wanted to bring her on the podcast and introduce her to all of you.

So, in just a little while, I will bring you my interview with Bridgette and let her tell you about the organization and her journey.  The timing of this episode is important because it aligns with a milestone event that I will let Bridgette explain.

Just a side note worth highlighting here is this.  Bridgette is not formally trained in public health.  She does not have a degree in public health.  In fact, she recently spoke to a group in San Francisco that introduced her as “the accidental activist” who has been making a tremendous positive public health impact for over 23 years.  I want everyone who’s listening to hear her passion, and drive in the stories she shares and the examples she gives.  Her message is inspiring.  Imagine what you can do once you connect with the area of public health that you are most passionate about, and the populations that you care most about serving.

My hope is that you will be inspired by this episode.