Reona Berry, Rachel Fletcher and Julissa Rios
Reona is a founding member and president of the African American Breast Cancer Alliance (AABCA). Since its inception in October 1990, AABCA has been sharing culturally specific, easy-to-understand and life-affirming information about breast cancer with African Americans. The organization is dedicated to providing hope, awareness, education, emotional and social support to breast cancer survivors, their family members and the community. AABCA is recognized locally and nationally for its collaborative efforts and innovative educational materials. Reona has been a longtime attendee and exhibitor at the BCEA conference.
At the Community Health Program of West Side Community Health Services, Rachel Fletcher oversees a team of 14 staff members providing direct services to more than 11,000 people and reaches another 9,000 through outreach programs. The program operates a number of public health programs ranging from HIV prevention, testing, and treatment, to diabetes prevention, prenatal health, family planning, and breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening and linkage to care. Rachel has over fifteen years’ experience in public health, including time in Quito, Ecuador where she worked as a health educator in a family planning and sexual health clinic. In addition to her work with breast cancer, Rachel has personal experience as a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed at a young age.
Julissa grew up in Peru and has been living in Minnesota for 25 years. She has worked at La Clinica, part of West Side Community Health Services, for the past 18 years. The clinic’s bilingual/bicultural staff provides culturally-appropriate education and community outreach, securing affordable options to pay for screenings and follow-up care. As a case manager, Julissa advocates daily for her patients, many of whom experience multiple barriers to care, helping them navigate the system and coordinating health services while offering compassionate support. She helps them understand medical coverage, answers their questions and connects them to much-needed resources while encouraging them to be positive and believe in a new tomorrow full of hope - full of ESPERANZA!