Published on November 16, 2019
On November 2, Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program® Executive Council member LeeAnn Johnson (spouse of Rep. Bill Johnson, Ohio), in collaboration with Memorial Health System and the Congressional Families Program®, hosted a Cancer Prevention, Early Detection & Wellness Day in Marietta, Ohio. The public event featured cancer screenings, wellness demonstrations, healthy food samples and walk-through inflatable organs—a colon and a breast—that served as teaching tools to help people better understand healthy tissue and the stages of disease.
The event also included presentations by medical experts, followed by a Q&A with the audience. Dr. Molly McAfee, a thoracic surgeon at Marietta Health System, discussed lung cancer screening and showed a video of minimally invasive lung surgery. Dr. Vidas Dumasius, a surgeon at Marietta Memorial Hospital, spoke on breast cancer screening and breast reconstruction options following cancer. Congressional Families Program® Executive Director Lisa McGovern gave attendees an overview of the Program’s work and the Prevent Cancer Foundation®.
The Cancer Prevention Day was preceded on Friday by a private tour of Belpre Medical Campus and Marietta Strecker Cancer Center and a discussion with Mrs. McGovern, Mrs. Johnson and more than 20 doctors and representatives from Memorial Health.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ohio Department of Health, cancer deaths in 2016 were 11% higher in Ohio than the rest of the U.S.; the rate in Washington County, where Marietta is located, is even higher. Washington County is in rural Appalachia, where there are many obstacles to reducing cancer risk, such as poverty, cultural beliefs/practices, and access to health care, health insurance and screenings, so events like this are important to better reach the community.
“I am honored to have worked with my friend and fellow congressional spouse, Lisa McGovern, to hold a cancer prevention, awareness and screening event in Washington County,” Mrs. Johnson said. “Thanks to the support of the team at Marietta Memorial Health System and Strecker Cancer Center, it was a huge success. Every congressional district could do this.”
To learn more about the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program®, visit www.congressionalfamilies.org.