The Top News for WISDOM You Won’t Want to Miss, by Steffanie Goodman

Over the past year, WISDOM has had some big accomplishments. The field of Positive Psychology teaches us that capitalizing on positive events (i.e. sharing good news) helps to improve overall well-being, increase positive emotions, and decrease loneliness.  Given the year we’ve just experienced, I think we could all benefit from some good news. Plain and simple.

To kick things off, in early Spring, the WISDOM Study was awarded a $9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to increase ethnic diversity in the study.  As we’ve discussed in recent webinars (click here to view prior webinars on our website) a major goal of WISDOM is to improve screening for all women, including those across diverse backgrounds, ethnicities and geographic locations. Risk assessment is particularly important among women of color, who are more at risk for lethal cancers. By having equal representation of diverse women in the study, we hope to address health disparities and improve breast cancer detection within medically underserved and minority populations.

The new grant funding enabled us to expand our recruitment sites and reach more women color. We now have partnerships with Louisiana State University, University of Chicago and Ingalls Memorial Hospital, in Illinois, University of Alabama, and Topline MD Alliance, in Florida.  To learn more about this initiative and the relationship between diversity and risk, read the full press release here

Another achievement to note is that with the help of this grant, and the help we received from your referrals to friends and family, we achieved our milestone of enrolling a total of 30,000 women across all 50 states this year. That means the WISDOM Study is about the same size as a small town. Those numbers are huge for a research study!

But we’re not done yet, there is more good news.  To create the best experience for you during your time in the study, we launched our brand new website! If you have a moment to visit the site, you will notice a new look and feel, lots of new educational information, and (hopefully) a much easier process for enrolling new participants. Make sure to stay connected because in early 2021, we’re launching a new blog home page and would love to feature our participants—the WOMEN of WISDOM—in individual blog posts. If you’re interested in being featured, please email me at wisdomcommunity@ucsf.edu to schedule an interview and I can learn about your story. We plan to feature a different WOMAN of WISDOM each month!

(Imagine, this could be you, showcased on our blog page!)

Last but not least, we’re so proud to announce that our founder, Dr. Laura Esserman, is this year’s recipient of the Susan G. Komen’s Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Clinical Research. She is being recognized with Komen’s highest honor for the advancements she’s made in breast cancer research and medicine. Click here to read the full article where Dr. Esserman discusses her career in breast care and her latest research. What you won’t learn in that article is that Dr. Esserman is also a singer, songwriter, and playwright. If we get enough email requests at wisdomcommunity@ucsf.edu she may write a song just for WISDOM and perform it for you during the next webinar.

I’m looking forward to sharing more good news with you in 2021, so stay tuned.  In the words of Frank Sinatra (well, technically Carolyn Leigh), the best is yet to come!

Written by Steffanie Goodman, MPH, WISDOM Study Marketing & Communications 

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