Greater Atlanta Hadassah > Our Chapter > Check It Out! ®

Check It Out! ®

Since 1994, Greater Atlanta Hadassah and Northside Hospital have combined forces to present the Check It Out!® program in the greater Atlanta area. Check It Out! ® is no fee breast health awareness program that strives to educate women, especially high school juniors and seniors, about breast health and cancer, and the importance of early detection. The program is based on the premise that good health habits, if developed early, are more likely to become lifelong habits. We remind the women in the audience that their bodies are a beautiful responsibility and that they can take control by maintaining healthy habits. 

Greater Atlanta Hadassah and Northside Hospital were recently awarded a grant in the amount of $3,750 by It’s The Journey, Inc., producer of the Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer. The grant will fund the Check It Out!® breast health and cancer awareness program in high schools in the greater Atlanta community. This grant is one of 19 It’s The Journey awarded this year to breast cancer programs across Georgia.  “Grant funding allows our program to distribute information about breast health, including reminders about the importance of breast self examination, to everyone who attends a Check It Out!® presentation. We ask the young women to share the information with their friends and family members, too,” says Ellen Banov, Greater Atlanta Hadassah Check It Out!® program chair.  Pictured left to right: Glenn Martin, It's The Journey Chairman of the Board; Susan Casella, Northside Hospital; Ellen Banov, Check It Out! ® Chair; Laurel Sybilrud, It's The Journey Grants Chair; and Kimberly Goff, It's The Journey Executive Director.

Breast health education efforts are typically aimed at adult female audiences.  Our target audiences, i.e. older teens, college students, and young working women, tend to be overlooked based on the assumption that they are “too young” to worry about the disease.  From our volunteer efforts and personal experience, we know that the teen years are not too early to learn to be aware of our breasts and any changes in them. The questions presented at our programs and the evaluations we receive show that many of the young women and their families have been touched by breast cancer, and most know someone who has been affected by it. They welcome the chance to learn about breast health, risk factors, and breast self-examination.  We welcome the opportunity to teach this pre-mammography group the importance of Breast Self Examination (BSE) and early detection.

Though most of our presentations are in high schools, Check It Out!® has been fortunate to schedule programs in colleges, organizations, and businesses as well.  The program, which includes an introduction, a discussion of risk factors and healthy lifestyle choices by our nurse educator, a short DVD demonstrating proper breast self examination techniques, and a personal story from one of our wonderful survivor speakers, resonates with women of all ages. In 2011, we have presented the program to over 1,800 women!

With the exception of our professional nurse educator, who is on staff at Northside Hospital, we work with an all volunteer “staff.” We are working to expand the Check It Out® program, but we can’t do so without more volunteers. If you are available during the daytime, we are looking for four types of volunteers:

1.  Women willing to become area coordinators to schedule Check It Out® programs either in private schools or for adult women in corporations,

2.  Breast cancer survivors willing to attend the programs and speak briefly about their respective personal experiences,

3.  Women willing to attend the programs to pass out “goody bags” to the students who attend the programs, and

4.  Women who can come to the GAH office to assemble those goody bags.

Suggestions for schools or organizations to contact are always welcome!  For more information about how to schedule a program in your school or to volunteer, please contact Ellen Banov, Greater Atlanta Hadassah Check It Out! ® program chair at ellensam1@yahoo.com or 678-443-0714. 

GAH, Northside’s “Check It Out!” Get Grant, Atlanta Jewish Times.



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