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TGen helps promote cancer awareness for vast Navajo Nation
Date:4/7/2009

PHOENIX, Ariz. April 6, 2009 Outreach efforts by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) extend to the far corners of Arizona.

For the second year, TGen will help organize a cancer awareness conference for northeastern Arizona's vast Navajo Nation.

The 2nd annual Fort Defiance Cancer Awareness and Advocacy Conference, sponsored by the Arizona Myeloma Network, is planned 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. July 18 at the Navajo Nation Museum, Arizona 264 and Postal Loop Road, in Window Rock.

The first conference in October was an unqualified success that exceeded expectations, said Mechelle Morgan-Flowers, a nurse and supervisor who works at the nearby Fort Defiance Indian Hospital.

"The conference was more successful than I imagined it would be,'' said Morgan-Flowers, who has tended the health needs of the Navajo Nation since 1996. "I think it was a great experience in bringing awareness to healthcare providers and the public. This is especially true for those people who do not live on the Navajo Nation and who now have a better understanding of the obstacles our patients face in obtaining care. We are hoping to continue the momentum.''

Members of the Navajo Nation often must travel hundreds of miles round-trip to obtain medical treatment. With nearly 300,000 members most spread across 27,000 square miles of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah the Navajo people comprise the second largest Native American population on the largest acreage of tribal lands in the U.S. An estimated 40-50 percent of Navajos are unemployed, and most live in poverty.

Nearly 250 people registered and participated in the October conference, despite cold, wet and windy weather. Many private, tribal and state groups set up booths and distributed literature and information.

The upcoming conference, moved to summertime, will offer additional discussion panels, a workshop about breast cancer prevention and a seminar for cancer caregive
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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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