Sisters Working It Out

Sisters Working It Out..Health Advocacy in Motion (SWIO) is an advocacy program whose purpose is to specifically target the most medically under-served parts of the African American community for breast cancer outreach activities. It was created by a young physician, and breast cancer survivor  Dr. Monica Peek, MD, MPH, who is an Attending Physician at the University of Chicago Medicine. Its beginning was a collaborative effort between the Chicago affiliate of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, the Chicago chapter of Sister’s Network  Inc., the Chicago Chapter of Y-ME National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund, Rush University Medical Center, and Cook County Hospital.

SWIO is a unique program that combines severatl different aspects of community outreach with an innovation healthy advocacy module.
Target Population
SWIO’s target population primarily consists of African American women ranging in age from 20’s to mid 70’s, who live within Chicago or Chicagoland area. For the past coupe of years, we have focused on West side, Woodlawn and Englewood Communities because of the high breast cancer mortality rates within these communities. In the first few years of the program, we successfully reached over 1,500 women with important health information and facilitated screening mammograms for over 200 women, many of whom had not had a mammogram in several years.
SWIO primarily consists of having women in the program to conduct health discussion, breast health and breast cancer awareness and advocacy and sign up women to partake in mammograms from various medical testing sites. Specific components include:
Breast Health Education
Breast Cancer Education and Awareness
Clinical Trials
Heart Disease
Community Advocacy
On-Going Project Goals and Objectives
  1. Community Health Educators (CHEs) to present health discussions to African-American women living on the Chicago and Chicagoland area.
  2. To continually enhance the leadership skills and provide continuing education opportunities for the current cohorts of SWIO health educators through monthly events.
  3. To continue to increase the general community awareness about breast cancer screening and early detection.
  4. To continue to increase the access of medically undeserved communities to preventative health service, such as mammography and clinical breast examinations, as well as ongoing comprehensive health care.