Dear MBCC Supporters,
Public health practitioners seek to protect communities by preventing adverse health outcomes before they can occur. The intuitiveness of this core professional mission was a primary driver of my decision to pivot from a career in financial aid to the field of environmental health. Since January 2020 I have been pursuing a graduate degree in public health, but I only truly began to understand what practicing prevention meant when I joined the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) as an intern this last spring.
In my public health curriculum, we talk about political hurdles, financial boundaries, and momentous shifts that are needed at systemic and societal levels to effect change. At MBCC, we jump those hurdles, defy those boundaries, and effect change one step at a time. With a small but effective team, MBCC moves toward its goal of preventing environmental causes of breast cancer through community education, research advocacy, and changes to public policy. After joining the MBCC team, I spent a spring and summer supporting that mission by prioritizing environmental justice and focusing on an important facet of our purpose: to reduce the burden of environmentally linked diseases on communities that are more likely to suffer from them. As a result of that work, MBCC’s award-winning Let’s Talk Prevention community education brochure, which communicates the importance of reducing exposure to toxic chemicals, has been translated into eleven languages. We also contacted hundreds of educators in every corner of the Commonwealth to share free classroom resources focused on environmental health and the importance of exposure reduction. And we allied with advocates from all around Massachusetts and the country to support State and Federal bans on PFAS chemicals and other cancer-causing agents.
I am honored to have spent the past spring and summer as an intern with MBCC, practicing exactly what I sought out by pursuing a career in public health. Organizations like MBCC, I have learned, are rare and play a critical role in the important work of prevention education and research advocacy. For this reason, I humbly ask that you please consider donating to MBCC if it is within your means. Your contribution, be it $5, $50, or $500, enables MBCC to continue advocating and educating for the reduction of exposure to toxics and the prevention of environmentally-linked breast cancer.
Katie Lee, MPH Candidate 2023
Boston University School of Public Health