Dia de la Mujer Latina, Inc.
3209 Dunlin Lake Rd.
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
On a routine flight to Los Angeles, Flight Attendant Venus Ginés slipped and fell on the airplane prompting an immediate need for medical attention. At the ER, the doctor casually asked if she had her mammogram yet. Upon hearing a ‘No, I’m Latina, we Latinas don’t get breast cancer” he explained that cancer did not discriminate and offered to do a clinical breast exam. To her shock, he found a lump. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, Venus decided to focus her graduate research on cancer in Latinas. She discovered both a paucity of statistical data as well as limited ethnic-specific cancer health education material. In 1996, Venus developed a culturally specific video/picture book on breast cancer (Una Nueva Esperanza) and later (Hombre Sin Limite) on prostate cancer for American Cancer Society (ACS). A health fiesta was the only way to determine if the picture books adequately addressed some of the fears and barriers of this population-at-risk. Dia de la Mujer Latina became a reality when Venus together with ACS & the Mexican Consulate's office, assessed, planned, coordinated, collaborated and implemented the first non-traditional culturally relevant Latino family health fiesta. This process involved a community-wide collaboration of Latino clubs, private and non-profit organizations, state and county health departments, community merchants, media, volunteers and other healthcare providers to provide early detection and screening for breast/cervical/prostate cancer, HIV, Diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
Since May 10, 1997, more than 27,000 Latinas have registered at our 1-day health fiesta w/over 3020 receiving medical care. Venus also teaches cultural competence to medical and nursing students. This ethnic specific project is currently recognized as a national “best practice” and being replicated in 22 cities, 7 counties in Georgia, as well as Puerto Rico. Día de la Mujer Latina, Inc. is a non-profit (501©3) organization in the state of Ga.
Ms. Ginés earned a B.A. from California State University and a M.A. from Georgia State University (WMSI), focusing on the cultural and system barriers faced by Latinas with breast cancer. Selected to the 1st Director’s Consumer Liaison Grp to the Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and in 1997, Venus presented at a Congressional Panel for the recognition of the term “Latino” as a proper category term for the new population from Latin America. Now, all federal programs must include both terms. Nationally, she serves on the Steering Committee for the NCI-funded Redes en Accion, the nationally recognized Intercultural Cancer Council (ICC) and 1st charter member of the Susan G. Komen National Hispanic/Latina Advisory Council. Venus represented the state of Georgia at the President’s Cancer Panel and served on the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Cancer Coalition. Venus received the Compañeros Award at the Latino Summit in Atlanta the Vision of Hope Award in the Breast Cancer Conference in San Antonio, as well as the National Latina Activist Award in Chicago. Venus was appointed to the Blue Ribbon Panel of National Cancer Health Disparities Progress Review Group in Washington, DC and Chaired the Trans HHS Cultural Competence in Education & Training Roundtable. Georgia’s Governor Perdue appointed Venus to the Latino Commission and currently serves in the State’s Cancer Plan and the Health Strategies Council. She’s a Leadership Atlanta, Class of 2004 alumni, a Research Associate at Kennesaw State University & Adjunct Instructor at Morehouse School of Medicine. Venus serves on the Board of Visitors for Grady Hospital, WellStar Health System and Emory Healthcare and a board member of the YMCA Meto Atlanta.. She founded the Intercultural Center for Health & Wellness, the 1st Latino Health Resource Center in Georgia and has concluded the Community Voices Video Project of women from 12 Latin American countries discussing health disparities.