The Greater Cincinnati Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, is proud to introduce Amy Weber as a recent addition to the staff. Amy came to the Affiliate in September and her initial responsibility included collecting data for the 2011 Community Profile, an assessment of the needs and resources in the Greater Cincinnati service area. In compiling the Community Profile, alongside Amy, was a team made up of breast cancer survivors, agency representatives, and Affiliate staff that tackled this responsibility by deciding to collect multiple forms of data to give a full and accurate picture of the Greater Cincinnati Affiliate service area. Amy was excited to use a process called Photovoice to add a unique approach in gathering the perspective of female breast cancer survivors in the Affiliate service area.
The Photovoice process has typically been used to empower groups that are often “unheard” or “underrepresented” in traditional research (Wang & Burris, 1997; Wang, 1999). Female breast cancer survivors are often “moved through the agency processes” with efficiency and may come up against barriers that are often never addressed, recorded, or discussed. Photovoice was selected to (1) determine strengths and concerns of the current system, (2) increase discussion about issues facing this group, and (3) develop recommendations for improving processes that female breast cancer survivors experience.
A volunteer group of area breast cancer survivors participated in this project to be able to “tell” their story through photos. This project allowed women to reflect on their experience in a non-verbal way and perhaps “see” the process in a different way. These groups took a number of pictures that they felt represented their experience as they moved through the process from diagnosis through survivorship. The photographs reflected breast cancer survivors’ experiences and comments that were collected in other forms of data, but put it into picture form for the community to “see”.
Wondering more about the Photovoice project? Send Amy your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.