New resource launches for Spanish-speaking breast cancer survivors

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The "Be Hopeful" boxes are full of little cards with quotes and supportive messages on them in Spanish. (Photo provided by Bryan Health) | Las cajas "Be Hopeful" están llenas de pequeñas tarjetas con citas y mensajes de apoyo en español. (Foto proporcionada por Bryan Health)
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By Kassidy Arena, Nebraska Public Media

Bryan Health has partnered with Project Pink’d—an organization that supports breast cancer survivors—to provide “Be Hopeful” boxes in Spanish.

The little boxes full of comment cards with quotes and messages of support have already been available in English since 2017. They started as glass jars and were rebranded to the boxes in 2021. Ashton Wyrick, the assistant director of government and community relations with Bryan Health, helped lead the initiative to fund the new resource. She said the partners hope to better serve Spanish-speakers diagnosed with breast cancer throughout the state.

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“Health care is not a one-size-fits-all,” Wyrick said, citing Bryan Health’s many locations and different communities in those locations. “The solutions that may work for our English-speaking population aren’t the solutions that work for our Spanish-speaking population.”

Wyrick added since Bryan Health is soon to open a new cancer center next month, this project aligns well with their current work.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the age-adjusted rate of breast cancer for Hispanic women in Nebraska was around 99 per 100,000 in 2020. In Iowa, around 73 per 100,000.

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Shawn McCarville, director of marketing and programming for Project Pink’d, said through this new project, Project Pink’d hopes to build new connections with breast cancer survivors in Nebraska and western Iowa.

“We are pleased to be able to expand our ability to reach a community that we have not been able to adequately serve before,” McCarville said in a press release.

The two organizations worked with the Nebraska Commission on Latino-Americans and Centro de las Américas to ensure cultural relevancy as well as language accuracy.

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“While translating these boxes into Spanish may not seem like healthcare at the surface, it is. Having materials that are in your chosen language, that are accessible to you and that are providing hope heals.”

The boxes have 31 cards—one meant for each day of the month—with culturally significant messages of support. They are meant for distribution statewide. Organizations can order the “Be Hopeful” boxes for Nebraska distribution statewide and into western Iowa.

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