Teaching Cancer Prevention and Wellness at the Peninsula Branch of the Queens Public Library

SHAREing & CAREing Program Manager Merryl Reichbach and Nurse Consultant Fran Smith, RN developed and presented SHAREing and CAREing Cancer Prevention and Wellness on August 14, 2017 1:30-3pm for students at the Adult Learning Center. 13 students attended, in addition to library staff. The students were preparing to take the high school equivalency exam and all had advanced English language skills.

The workshop leaders opened the program with a description of our background as well as the variety of services SHAREing & CAREing offers, including free counseling for people impacted by cancer and linkages to low-cost and free health care screenings, regardless of insurance or immigration status. We provided information to participants about cancer including treatment, staging, psychosocial issues and prevention strategies. The students actively engaged in the workshop. Most participants knew someone with cancer, some were or had been caretakers for close family members and one student was currently undergoing chemotherapy. They had lots of questions that we were able to answer. Students openly appreciated the chance to “learn information we can trust because you are professionals who work in the community and care about the community.”

A variety of supplemental handouts were distributed to students, including our bilingual program brochure; information on colon, breast, skin, prostate and other cancers; healthy cooking; stress management and other prevention tips and a list of appropriate health screenings across the lifespan.

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