The Queens Library HealthLink Program is working with the community to improve health and increase health equity in Queens
Queens Library HealthLink brings together community members from around the borough of Queens who plan educational programs, link their communities to health resources, and address the specific health needs of their communities.
Cancer Action Councils
Cancer Actions Councils are groups of community members and leaders who use their local knowledge to plan health programs that address their communities' needs. The council members represent the various ethnic and social groups living in their neighborhoods. Cancer Action Council members are experts on their communities, and they work together to create healthier neighborhoods. The HealthLink cancer action councils began their work in 2007, with a focus on cancer disparities. Although cancer is still a major focus, the councils have evolved to address health more broadly.
What can you do?
Stories from Cancer Action Council participants:
"When I was introduced to the health statistics for the Astoria community, I was shocked by how many cancers and other life-threatening illnesses were not detected until the late stages...I had observed at the library that many...customers were shy or apprehensive when it came to asking me questions or providing personal information. I knew that by getting involved in the Cancer Action Council I could help make a difference to those most affected by a reluctance to seek out medical advice."
"By making health information available in a variety of languages and formats, the library can help to bridge the detection gap. Gaining the customers trust can be difficult, but through sustained efforts and community involvement I believe that we can save lives with the information we have to share. The Cancer Action Councils are a great opportunity to gather and distribute an abundance of resources throughout Queens."
"I feel the three greatest things about the Pomonok Cancer Council are 1) the information that Council members receive by attending the monthly meetings, 2) the ability to transmit that information to our neighbors and 3) the sense of community that the Council fosters. Through HealthLink and the Cancer Council, I have been able to engage our customers in conversations about their health needs in new and exciting ways. Even if a cancer surviving customer chooses not to formally affiliate with our Council, they know that there is a new resource available to them when they are ready. I feel one of the greatest benefits of the cancer programs we've given to the public is the opportunity these programs give to allow people to talk about their fears and concerns."
Sharon Banks, Pomonok
"I work at the Adult Learning Center at the Long Island City Branch, where I also participate in the Long Island City Cancer Action Council (CAC). Students at our center ask us a lot of questions about navigating the health care system in NYC and how to get medical help. Working with Queens HealthLink and the CAC is rewarding because it connects students with the medical system in a positive way. Students are learning life skills and they are learning about health care procedures, like mammography exams, that can save lives. It is exciting to be a small part of this."
Rick Dixon, Long Island City