Woman in a field of flowers with her hands in the air

Women's Health Awareness Day






This event has passed.

The annual Women's Health Awareness Day Conference, sponsored by the NIH National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), will be held at the North Carolina Central University campus in Durham on Saturday, April 15. This is the first time the event will be held in person since 2019.

The theme this year is "Women's Health Awareness: Transforming Communities by Enhancing Women's Health." All activities (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) will be held at the Mary Townes Science Building, 1900 Concord St., Durham.

Women’s Health Awareness (WHA) is an initiative within the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Clinical Research Branch (CRB), Office of Human Research and Community Engagement (OHRCE) that:

  • provides evidence-based community interventions to promote wellness, environmental health literacy, and environmental public health;
  • increases community health resiliency;
  • advances health equity by improving healthcare access and quality.

The April 15 conference includes: breast health education sessions, lung screening education, colorectal cancer assessments, skin screening for cancer and diabetes, tobacco use/prevention/cessation/exposure assessments, patient navigation and healthcare barrier assessments, health education, healthy living sessions and more.

Team members from DCI, Duke Dermatology, Duke GI, Duke Heart, the DCI Community Outreach, Engagement, and Equity program (COEE), the Duke Center for Smoking Cessation (Quit at Duke), and the Women's Health Community Engagement Task Force,  are supporting NIEHS, NCCU, and local co-sponsors, by leading several screening and/or health education sessions.

All Hands on Deck: DCI at the Women's Health Awareness Day Conference

WOMEN'S HEALTH ROOM: DCI breast group nurse practitioner Kathy Trotter, DNP, and medical student Sydney Record, and the DCI Community Outreach, Engagement, and Equity program (COEE) will be supporting the Women's Health Room by providing breast health education materials and navigation services. Pre-scheduled mammograms will also be taking place here.


  • Breast radiologist Connie Kim, MD, will deliver a talk on what to expect at a screening mammography.
    Abstract: Not knowing what to expect can deter women from getting their breast cancer screening.  By illustrating and sharing the 5 W’s about breast cancer screening, this session will familiarize women with what happens during screening breast imaging and what to expect if one is called back for additional imaging.  We will also discuss other modalities used to image the breast.
  • Jennifer Plichta, MD, MS, will present on breast cancer risk and genetics. Abstract: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and every woman is at risk. However, each woman’s risk is slightly different and influenced by many factors. This session will review some of those risk factors and ways that women can reduce their risk of breast cancer. We will also discuss the importance of genetic testing and how the results from testing may affect options that a woman may consider based on those results.

LUNG CANCER SCREENING EDUCATION A lung cancer screening team led by Betty Tong, MD, will educate attendees on the lung screening process. The new patient coordinator for DCI's lung cancer screening program will call attendees after the event to schedule screening appointments should they qualify for screening. *Lung cancer screening is usually covered by insurance. However, the LCS program has philanthropic funding available for uninsured attendees who would like to be screened at no cost.

PATIENT NAVIGATION & HEALTHCARE BARRIER ASSESSMENT Assessments will be performed by navigators with the DCI COEE program.

TOBACCO USE, PREVENTION, CESSATION, & EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT The Duke Smoking Cessation Program (Quit at Duke), led by James Davis, MD, will have team members available on-site to discuss cessation options, including research studies — with the opportunity to schedule appointments and be screened for studies during the event — and other community-based resources.

SKIN CANCER SCREENING & SIGNS OF DIABETES ON THE SKIN Assessments will be performed by Duke Dermatology clinicians. Sarah Wolfe, MD, is the lead.

COLORECTAL CANCER ASSESSMENTS Fit Kits will be distributed and patient navigation services will be provided to the first 50 participants, in partnership with DCI and the Duke Gastrointestinal Clinic.

ORAL, THYROID, AND LUNG CANCER SESSION Chaired by Angelo Moore, PhD, RN, Assistant Director, DCI COEE, Trinitia Cannon, MD, will present "Oral, Thyroid, and Lung Cancer: Early Detection and Prevention." Cannon is an associate professor and associate vice chair, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences; co-chief of the Department's Division of Head and Neck Surgery; and director of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology at Duke Raleigh Hospital. 

Abstract: Oral Cancer (aka mouth cancer) and Oropharyngeal Cancer (Tonsil and Base of Tongue Cancer) are the most common types of cancer that affects the head and neck. Head and neck cancers represent about 4% of all new US cancer diagnoses (with an estimated 66,470 new cases in 2022) and 15,000 deaths. The most common risk factors include tobacco use, alcohol use, and a virus called the Human PapillomaVirus (HPV).  We will discuss some signs and symptoms to assess for head and neck cancer and preventative measures.   

DIGITAL HEALTH LITERACY Kearston Ingraham, MPH, research program evaluator for DCI COEE, will chair a conference session on "Increasing Digital Health Literacy to Increase Access to Telehealth Services."

Other Screenings & Sessions in the Cancer Track

HEAD, NECK, and ORAL CANCER SCREENING Assessments will be performed by University of North Carolina Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery.

FEMALE CANCERS BELOW THE WAIST Chaired by Angelo Moore, PhD, RN, Assistant Director, DCI COEE, in this session Schquthia Peacock, RN, BSN, APN, with Avance Care, will provide attendees with necessary information related to screening for common cancers below the waist. This session will cover risk factors and ways to reduce modifiable risk factors. It will also cover the important role of the primary care provider (PCP) in patients on active cancer therapy, including the management of blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol disorders.

Cardiovascular Educational Sessions

Chaired by Angelo Moore, PhD, RN, Assistant Director, DCI COEE

  • "Heart Disease Prevention in Women" with Chelsea Ngongang, MD, WakeMed Heart and Vascular
  • "Evaluating Cardiovascular Health Equity: a Community-Based Outreach Initiative for People with Severe, Uncontrolled Hypertension" with Bradi Granger, RN, PhD, professor, Duke University School of Nursing; and Holly Biola, MD, MPH, chief of Family Medicine, Lincoln Community Health Center

In 2022, our own patient navigator Valarie Worthy, RN, MSN, delivered a session on self breast awareness as part of the WHA virtual conference