Spreading Breast Cancer Awareness through Education and Funding Lower Income Communities [Interview][Transcript]

Anisa_Palmer_I_will_survive_incGuest: Anisa Palmer
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Anisa Palmer is the Executive Director and Founder of I Will Survive, Inc. (IWS) in Atlanta, Georgia since 2010, which became the featured charity for the 4th Annual National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) Georgia Expo (2013). She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Survive International, LLC as a new client with weVenture under the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) in their Women’s Business Center. Ms. Palmers’ main research interests and public speaking topics are breast cancer prevention, health and wellness with interpersonal communications, as well as leadership and management in public administration.

Segment overview: In this Health Care Supplier Segment, Anisa Palmer describes how she and her organization bring a deeper awareness and understanding of breast cancer to physicians and also how I Will Survive, Inc seek to gain funding and support for research while providing the same. She is the author of soon to be published book, I Will Survive: Living Life on Purpose (2016). She also co-published a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) with Metroplan Orlando.

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard, so glad that you could join us today. Many of us have dealt with the issue of breast cancer either on a personal level or someone that we know has developed breast cancer. It is a disease that afflicts not only women but men as well. Our guest in studio today is Anisa Palmer. She is the Executive Director and Founder of I Will Survive Incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia since 2010. And she’s become a featured charity for the 4th Annual National Association of Professional Women. She’s also an author, an author of the soon to be published book and she is here with us today to talk about her life involving breast cancer, her organization. And how her efforts to bring awareness and research into breast cancer is progressing. How are you doing today Anisa?

Anisa Palmer: I am doing excellent Howard. And thank you so much for having me on the show.

N: Not a problem. Thank you so much for allowing us to take up some of your time. Now could you tell us a little bit about yourself, I understand that you are a veteran?

A: Yes, I am. Served in the army back when I went started legally being able to drink, so I started to look at that as quite interesting. But I wanted to be part of something great in the world. And little did I know I thought I was doing something like the Peace Corps and I wasn’t at the same time I learned so much, I learn to think the good and the bad and make the best of every situation. And it was my second tour serving in Iraq and I survived and although we did give soldiers for supplements back at the clinic. Yet I was so grateful to wake up every morning, to have my body still in one piece. It was a very, very traumatic experience but I think after that whole surviving all of it, because so many soldiers are coming back probably with post-traumatic stress disorders. So it’s not just surviving the physical, it’s surviving the mental and spiritual and I took the same concepts and wanted to formulate these into “I Will Survive” and that’s how I was born. But the root of it really originated from my mother personally to breast cancer.

N: Uh huh. Now one veteran to another, I thank you and appreciate your service. Now you are the Executive Director and Founder of an organization, you mentioned I Will Survive. Is I Will Survive Incorporated based in Atlanta Georgia, could you tell us a little bit about why you started this organization? And what is your main focus and goal when it comes to breast cancer awareness?

A: Well certainly, it was back in 2010 I’m just getting out of the military and “I Will Survive” was born. And we wanted to focus more- actually it was just the name – originally it was just ourselves in the beginning. It was our mission to increase breast cancer awareness and then we added through education. Because I think that piece was really missing and then the complete portion of the mission was also to provide financial assistance in lower income community. I think those most important pieces were missing, I come just the market research that I did. And with that education piece it wasn’t just increasing breast cancer awareness, we have to put the education piece to look at that what was missing. When you see pink everywhere in October, the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, what does this pink entail? So everyone is aware of pink at the same time we would do workshops or house events or come out to speak at different venues and there would be several individuals … men and women that even though men could get breast cancer as well. We wanted to be the difference in changing this whole pink idea and make it more. It has to be more, it can’t just be … all pretty and pink.

N: What is one of the main misconceptions that you run into when you begin to discuss your organization and your efforts?

A: The main misconception, I mean there are so many. One being that every organization that focuses on breast cancer awareness are saying, and everyone thinks it’s the same. And that’s somewhat hard and we actually get a new transition of supporters, donors, our community members wanted to be involved just because of realizing how important health is with the new changes within the United States of the Affordable Care Act.

N: Uh huh.

A: And it’s really good to finally see more and more of our applicants, the clients that we serve particularly in lower income community now have health insurance for their applications. And some not the best health insurance but that’s the start and for us it’s the very, very important transition at the United States. Long overdue for me (laugh) that I think but it’s good when you compare different countries like Europe, Canada the thing that they’re doing and what we we’re not doing here at the United States.

N: Now as we wrap up this segment I’d like to ask you a couple of questions. First of all when it comes to raising breast care and awareness among physicians those who may not specialize in breast cancer or cancer at all and they have something totally different that their focus on in their practice and their career, how much education do you find yourself giving other physicians? How much funding and support have you received from physicians? And the next question is where can our listeners get much more information about the I Will Survive organization?

A: Okay. First question, we would love to see more support from physicians. So we just had a new board member in our community that is a registered nurse, so that’s the first … and I think stepping into the whole convention of medicine aspect within our states. Which is good, I mean when we have breast cancer survivors reach out, or newly diagnosed individuals with breast cancer and y never wanted to discourage. It’s you’re right to choose whichever treatment and think you would like to take, but we want to be able to inspire and informing them to be able to ask questions within their healthcare provider which is very important. And be able to understand what treatment options are out there and how that affects them, not just 3 years 5 years time but long term which is very important. And with the difference, how can we sure them that we do work with, we want to be able to build that relationship more. I think is very important when we look at not just healthcare changing from the military to even the N.F.L with this new movie coming out with Will Smith, “Concussion.” It’s a lot underlying there and so these films are taking the extra step to focus more on the prevention aspect.

N: Uh huh.

A: It’s very important and they are out there and so we’d love to be able to work with those listeners and more so that we can, not just close off to one segment. I think it’s important and in the last piece to be able to reach out to us, we’re all over social media at I Will Survive Inc. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and our website is www.iwillsurviveinc.org.

N: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. It’s been a pleasure this afternoon talking with Anisa Palmer, the Executive Director and Founder of I Will Survive Incorporated organization located here in Atlanta, Georgia where her efforts are to bring awareness and also to gain support from the community at large and physicians especially. It’s been great talking with you this afternoon Anisa.

A: Pleasure Neal Howard, thank you so much for having me on show.

N: Thank you. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm and you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.

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