By Suzanne Pak
For Northwest Asian Weekly
On Aug. 22nd, Cornerstone Medical Services hosted the first stomach cancer summit in Washington state’s history. A hundred health, human service, and community leaders gathered at the Clarion Hotel in Federal Way to hear Dr. Joo Ha Hwang (chief of gastroenterology at Harborview Medical Center) explain how to detect stomach cancer and the health disparities surrounding screening, treatment, and mortality rate of stomach cancer.
Cornerstone Medical Services discussed how California and Texas are raising awareness around stomach cancer through their Cancer Facts & Figures reports. The discussion focused on possible reasons why someone is three times more likely to die from stomach cancer in the United States than in some other countries. Dr. Vicky Taylor of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center provided best practices from a successful liver cancer prevention program launched 15 years ago. The participants shared their insights on what cancer messages, programs, and facts were the most compelling and memorable – and what we can do over the next five years to launch a successful stomach cancer prevention program. In fact, many of the participants proactively mentioned that they are going to encourage their family and friends to get tested for stomach cancer right away – and wanted us to post this information in all the grocery stores in Federal Way!
Rep. Cindy Ryu, Ken Taylor (CEO of Valley Cities), Dorothy Wong (executive director of Chinese Information & Service Center), Dr. Marguerite Ro (chief of Assessment, Policy Development & Evaluation of Seattle King County Public Health), and Michael Itti (executive director of WA Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs) facilitated these group discussions. Finally, Jeanne Burbidge (deputy mayor of Federal Way) and Michael Park (former mayor of Federal Way) expressed thanks for hosting this summit in Federal Way and hopes that this could serve as a launching point for exciting new medical advances in South King County.
Suzanne Pak will apply for continued funding from Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to design a research project allowing the community partners to conduct education and outreach around stomach cancer prevention. (end)
Suzanne Pak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.