Lorna Welshman-Neblett, president of the Organization for Social and Health Advancement For Guyana and the Caribbean, has planned a progressive program of health initiatives to celebrate the group’s 10th anniversary.
The activities began with a fundraising tea party earlier in the year, and will continue with an annual “Walk for the Cure” set to take place on Sunday, Oct. 21 to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Supporters and survivors alike are expected to join OSHAG at Brooklyn Prospect Park’s main assembly area at 9:00 a.m. where the walk will be focused on enhancing the wellbeing of health and social standards in the community, while keeping cancer awareness at the forefront.
Ladies are asked to wear “Pink Blouses” to highlight breast cancer, while gents should be clothed in “Blue Shirts” for prostate cancer. A fellowship with survivors will follow at the organization’s 2414 Snyder Ave. headquarters in Brooklyn.
For the last two years, OSHAG has raised thousands of dollars in pledges. Fifty percent of the donations have gone to the American Cancer Society, while the balance was used to purchase orthotic brassieres for survivors in Guyana, who, because of limited resources were forced to create brassieres stuffed with chickpeas.
This, Welshman-Neblett explained threatens the wellness of survivors, many who in the past had attracted infections. As such, the organization has stayed committed to ensuring that each survivor is fitted with the prosthesis.
The 30-member OSHAG group is also devoted to expanding its membership base, especially to continue its annual medical missions to Guyana.
Welshman-Neblett, commended Dr. Lewis for donating one week away from his medical practice each year, to travel to Guyana to provide medical outreach to underprivileged citizens. The doctor will head-up a 16-member team of physicians during this tenth mission.
A pre-screening team of medical professionals will arrive in Guyana one week before Oct. 20, when the mission will commence. It will end Nov. 4. And for the first time, doctors will perform oncology and orthopedic surgeries at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
The missions however that are focused in the rural areas of the country where health care is limited, will be held in Buxton village, on the East Coast of Demerara.
Guyanese-American Dr. Bernard Saunders, a Campellville, Georgetown native ,will also conduct a one-day health clinic to give back to his community while in the country.
“We have many survivors in our organization, including Chairman, Carol Bagot,” said Welshman-Neblett, who stressed the importance of annual mammogram screening. She also encourages women to share their positive diagnosis with others.
“A positive breast cancer diagnosis is not something that should be kept secret. If there is something a survivor is unsure about, they should speak with their physician. OSHAG is also available to fellowship with patients,” she said.
It is OSHAG’s aim to partner with Kings Brook Jewish Hospital in Brooklyn, for free mamogram screenings and referrals.
As the new president of OSHAG, Welshman’s goal also is to ensure that OSHAG becomes the catalyst for all medical outreach organizations in the community.
One of her greatest ambitions is to host a substantial health fair in Guyana during the country’s 50th Independence Anniversary, in 2016.
Welshman-Neblett is a decorated community advocate whose accolades include the “Congressional Award” from the Health and Education Relief Organization (HERO)- for outstanding community service.
She was also named ‘Key Woman of America” by Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz and lauded for her support with an award from the National Organization for Black Law Enforcement, in addition to proclamations, which she received from the N.Y. City Council and the New York Senate.