On June 20 and 21, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partners gathered at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, MD for the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon Steering Committee Meeting. Fifty participants from the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon Secretariat, Board of Directors, and over thirty partner organizations met to discuss Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon-supported activities and future direction. Ambassador Deborah Birx, the U.S. Global AIDS coordinator and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, and Chair, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon Steering Committee, led two days of productive information sharing and discussion that will inform Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s strategy and the way forward for our partnership.
The meeting kicked off on Monday, June 20 with introductions from Ambassador Birx and Dr. Ted Trimble, Director of the NCI Center for Global Health, who generously hosted the meetings. Both highlighted the work Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon and partners have accomplished to date as well as opportunities to expand our impact.
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon Chief Executive Officer, Celina Schocken, led a session reflecting on her first three months on the job and on the way forward for the partnership, after which a panel discussed Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s role in policy and advocacy. The panel included Ambassador Sally Cowal, Senior Vice President of Global Health, American Cancer Society; Jeff Jacobs, Senior Vice President, American Society for Clinical Pathology; and Loyce Pace, Executive Advisor, LIVESTRONG Foundation. The panel spoke about current outreach efforts, awareness raising opportunities on Capitol Hill, and global opportunities in leveraging lessons learned from HIV and communicating the economic implications of combatting women’s cancers.
Over the two days of meetings, country representatives from the Republic of Zambia, United Republic of Tanzania, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and Republic of Botswana gave presentations on Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon activities in their respective countries, current challenges for the programs, and recommendations. Each presentation was followed by a discussion, which ranged from topics such as demand generation for cervical and breast cancer screening to possibilities for service integration and data integration with other health programs to the use of new technologies to screen for and treat cervical and breast cancer. Bill Steiger, Chief Program Officer at Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, also spoke about the emerging partnerships Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon is forging in Namibia and Latin America.
Other topical sessions over the two days included panels on innovation, the use of data and monitoring and evaluation in Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s programs, a roundtable on HPV screening, and a panel on breast cancer. Consisting of breast cancer experts from Susan G. Komen, National Breast Cancer Foundation, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and moderated by CEO Celina Schocken, the panel discussed the partnership’s work on breast cancer and possibilities for expansion. The panel touched upon the challenge of promoting breast cancer work, the importance of early detection and treatment, the value of survivors’ advocacy and storytelling, mentoring and training health care providers through partnerships, and the development of new, low-cost technologies for use in low-resources settings.
Many thanks to all Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partners for their attendance and input and special thanks to our generous hosts at the National Cancer Institute. The meetings provoked thoughtful discussion on Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s activities and generated many new questions and ideas to consider as we look forward to our fifth anniversary and the path forward for our partnership.
Discussion of country programs with (L-R) Dr. Toun Olateju, Country Program Manager, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon; Veronica Leburu, Acting Director, Department of Public Health, MoH, Botswana; Molly Rammipi, Principal Health Officer, National Cervical Cancer Prevention Program, MoH, Botswana; and Sr. Takelech Moges, Non-Communicable Diseases Team Officer, Federal MoH, Ethiopia Panel on Breast Cancer
including (L-R) Anna Cabanes, Director of Global Programs, Susan G. Komen; Douglas Feil, Vice President of Programs, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.; Dr. Shubhra Ghosh, Project Director of Global Academic Programs, MD Anderson Cancer Center; and Dr. Susan Harvey, Director of the Breast-Cancer Imaging Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine