CULPEPER, Va., Jan. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Culpeper (VA) Police Department personnel will help promote important cancer screenings in 2023, thanks to their collaboration with two local nonprofits: Less Cancer and the Free Clinic of Culpeper.
Throughout the year, some Culpeper police officers and others will wear a pin inscribed with “Healthy Town Culpeper: Ask your doctor about cancer prevention screenings” in hopes it will stimulate important conversations about the many screenings available to community residents.
“Cancer doesn’t discriminate,” says Culpeper Police Sergeant Norma McGuckin. “The Culpeper Police Department, the Free Clinic of Culpeper and Lesscancer.org are joining efforts to remind the community of Culpeper about the importance of yearly screenings. Early detection is key to preventing many types of cancer. Don’t remain silent when it comes to your health. Ask your doctor.”
“The Free Clinic of Culpeper is grateful to the Culpeper Police Department and Less Cancer for their partnership in spreading the word about the importance of getting routine healthcare and cancer screenings,” says Clinic Director Tammy LaGraffe.
The idea for the collaboration was conceived when Sergeant McGuckin reached out to LaGraffe to talk about a way to tackle rising cancer rates in the community, specifically how to encourage residents to do their routine cancer screenings. Sergeant McGuckin has been a longtime advocate of the Free Clinic of Culpeper and the services it provides to the community.
Both McGuckin and LaGraffe were aware of the cancer prevention work of Bill Couzens, founder of Next Generation Choices Foundation, 501 (c)3, a public charity more widely known as Less Cancer, based in Warrenton. When they approached him, Couzens responded immediately with a plan to work with the police and the clinic to elevate awareness of the cancer screenings available to the community.
Less Cancer has a long history in developing cancer prevention programming. Couzens and Less Cancer initiated the annual National Cancer Prevention Day and the National Cancer Prevention Workshop, as well as the United States Congressional Bipartisan Cancer Prevention Caucus.
“Less Cancer and our board of directors are always enthusiastic when it comes to helping communities close gaps in access to health care and preventive measures,” says Couzens. “This initiative is a perfect fit for our organization.”
Couzens and Less Cancer created the “Healthy Town” brand for community projects and has instituted the Healthy Town panel as a regular platform in the National Cancer Prevention Workshop.
“Collaborative approaches are becoming more common in securing public health, especially when the partnerships happen among agencies related to health,” Couzens says. “We are indebted to Norma and Tammy, who have creatively searched for ways to lower cancer risks, increase cancer screenings and encourage community members to have regular conversations with health care providers. Special thanks to Tammy for her public health understanding and for raising the bar for public health, screening and early detection.”
“One of the core understandings of Less Cancer is that when you have access to health care and screenings you can lower your risks for cancer,” Couzens adds. “With early detection you can often reduce the risks of advanced disease–and other cancers. We recognize how critical it is to support free clinics that ensure all people can get appropriate healthcare. Everyone should be discussing screenings with their healthcare providers or clinics.”