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UC Davis School of Medicine

UC Davis School of Medicine

NEWS | January 22, 2016

Medical students awarded for increasing awareness of cervical cancer

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.)

UC Davis medical students who also are co-directors of the Paul Hom Asian Clinic have been selected to receive a Patient Advocacy Grant from the American Society of Cytopathology Foundation.

Paul Hom clinic volunteers
Volunteers of the Paul Hom Asian Clinic shown at one of their awareness event are, from left, front row, Diana Ha, Kathy Pham and Roshelle Chan; back row, Muling Lin, Nicholaus Au, Kai Fong, Sutter Health pediatrician Lawrence Ng, and Katie Yeung.

The ASC Foundation awards annual Patient Advocacy Grants of $10,000 to support ongoing or new projects for advocacy efforts for patients with gynecologic and other cancers, or to educate patients on the need for effective screening programs.

The co-directors of the Paul Hom Asian Clinic are Diana Ha, Roshelle Chan and Kristine Miller. They received the award in recognition of their dedication to increase awareness of and change attitudes about Pap testing for cervical cancer prevention among Asian women. Supported by a 2014 ASC Foundation Patient Advocacy Grant, the Paul Hom Asian Clinic has sponsored several outreach and educational events as part of its Cervical Cancer Awareness Campaign.

From July through December 2015, the clinic conducted nine Pap test education events in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area, and provided education to 444 attendees, from multiple age groups, who completed pre- and post-educational surveys. Following the events, 91 women received Pap tests at the Paul Hom Asian Clinic — a first for some of them.

According to the American Cancer Society, Asian American women are the first American population to experience cancer as the leading cause of death. Southeast Asian women in particular have a higher incidence of invasive cervical cancer and lower frequencies of Pap test screening than most other ethnic groups in the U.S.

Lydia Pleotis Howell, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, is the mentor for the Cervical Cancer Awareness Campaign.