Tony Tagliavia, Milwaukee Public Schools
MILWAUKEE – Families and community members are invited to learn more about cancer prevention, ways to improve health and cancer-related racial disparities from students and experts as Milwaukee Public Schools’ Milwaukee High School of the Arts (MHSA) hosts the second of two health fairs this weekend.
The MHSA service learning project has involved 300 students at the school. The project is happening thanks to a grant from the American Cancer Society and Kohl’s to the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Cancer Center. Through the grant, MHSA students have been studying cancer and related racial disparities in Milwaukee, and hearing from MCW guest speakers.
Cancer and cancer-related mortality affect a disproportionate amount of African Americans in the region, including higher incidence and mortality rates for lung, liver and colon cancers and a higher breast cancer mortality rate for African-American women. Prostate cancer rates among African-American men are double those in the population as a whole.
One hundred students will present the results of their work and 12 local health organizations will join them in offering helpful health information at the fair set for Saturday, May 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m at Milwaukee High School of the Arts, 2300 W. Highland Avenue, Milwaukee 53233.
Organizations sharing information with the community include: American Cancer Society, Canz 4 Cancer, Diverse and Resilient, Froedtert Hospital, iCare, Susan G. Komen, MCW graduate school, Milwaukee Public Schools, City of Milwaukee Summer Employment, Safe and Sound, Sixteenth Street Community Health and Us Too.
“Through the Kohl’s Healthy Families program, which provides local families with resources to help prevent cancer and cope with a diagnosis, we’re proud to support this project at Milwaukee High School of the Arts,” said Beth Brunner, health systems manager at the American Cancer Society. “By educating the students about eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, and being active, they can help reduce their risk of cancer later in life.”
The partnership is also one part of the Medical College of Wisconsin’s work to expand awareness of cancer and career opportunities in cancer research.
“We know that people who come from underserved communities face issues such as access to care, poverty, segregation – all of which are associated with risk factors such as smoking, obesity and sedentary activity,” said Dr. Melinda Stolley, associate director of prevention and control at the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center. “As one of the largest institutions in Milwaukee, we have a responsibility to the community to enhance the welfare of all.”