Project News

Women's Health Project Supported "Walking with Our Neighbors for Our Neighbors"

Alana Elia and Tiffany Garriga at the "Walking with Our Neighbors for Our Neighbors" event in downtown Hudson.

Members of the CEMHD's Women’s Health Project walked in the Columbia County Community Healthcare Consortium’s 5K “Walking with our Neighbors for our Neighbors” event on June 2. Shown here are Alana Elia (on left), a research assistant for the Project (and doctoral student in the Department of Communication at the University at Albany), and Tiffany Garriga, a member of the Project’s peer outreach initiative. The annual walk raises funds for The Community Cancer Fund, which provides for local residents who need assistance following a diagnosis of cancer. Despite a heavy downpour during the walk through downtown Hudson, an energetic crowd participated in the fundraising activity.

Graduation Ceremony Held for Hudson Women Completing Peer Training as Outreach Assistants

Women’s Health Project peer outreach assistants mark the completion of their training with a graduation ceremony at Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood’s Hudson, NY health center. From left, Sylvia Jones, Maria Hansberry, Tiffany Garriga, and Arylee Ojumu.

At a graduation ceremony held at Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood’s Hudson health center on Thursday morning, December 15, 2011, four Hudson residents received certificates for completing training as adult peer outreach assistants for the Women’s Health Project, a community-based initiative of the Center for Elimination of Minority Health Disparities at the University at Albany. Tiffany Garriga, Maria Hansberry, Sylvia Jones and Arylee Ojumu will be working with the Project to encourage low income women of color in Hudson, New York to take positive steps toward caring for their reproductive health.

The women were hired by the Women’s Health Project, whose Hudson field office is in the Bliss Towers housing complex, in the early fall . Their graduation marks the end of a 10 week training program designed for the Project by the Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood education and patient services staff. The training program provided each participant with basic knowledge in health topics such as the importance of annual “well woman” GYN exams (including breast and cervical cancer screenings), reproductive anatomy, birth control, sexually transmitted infections, and safer sex. Participants learned about outreach skills and techniques, from how to approach people in a non-intrusive way to how to respond to those who may react negatively. They also learned specifics about where women can go in the local community for affordable health care services, and options for insurance coverage.


The peer outreach assistants have begun assisting the Project with its bimonthly community health education events and weekly outreach sessions in the lobby of Bliss Towers. Dr. Annis Golden, Director of the Women’s Health Project, and an associate professor in the Department of Communication, is very encouraged by the results so far: “Attendance at our events has increased markedly this fall with the participation of the peer group. But this type of program not only helps us connect with more women in the community; it also builds longer term capacity for health promotion in the community.”

According to Rob Curry, Sr. Vice President for External Affairs at UHPP, who designed and delivered much of the training, the women showed a wonderful enthusiasm for the material and a commitment to finding ways to share this information with the neighborhood residents. “They understand the daily challenges faced by their friends and neighbors and are proud to be able to offer them useful and sometimes critical information about health topics and available health services.”

To view a video of the Outreach Assistants' discussing the experiences they had while completing their training,please click here.

This project is supported by the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health (grant number P20MD003373). All content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities or the National Institutes of Health.