Aramark and the American Cancer Society Help Congreso Address Critical Women's Health Issues in Philadelphia

Aramark and the American Cancer Society Help Congreso Address Critical Women's Health Issues in Philadelphia

Por Nosotras program provides community outreach on the importance of breast and cervical screenings

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.@Aramark and American Cancer Society help @Congreso1977 address critical women's health issues in Philadelphia.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 11:00am

CAMPAIGN: Aramark Building Community

CONTENT: Press Release

PHILADELPHIA, May 13, 2015 /3BL Media/ – Congreso today announced that it will increase breast and cervical cancer screening rates for women in high-need communities in Philadelphia through a $50,000 contribution from Aramark and the American Cancer Society. The funds will be used to conduct community outreach on the importance of breast and cervical screenings in the Congreso service area, where women have lower rates of screenings than elsewhere in the city.

The community outreach will take place through Congreso’s Por Nosotras program, which was created as part of the Congreso’s mission to strengthen Latino communities. Por Nosotras not only raises awareness of the importance of cancer screenings, it also helps to reduce barriers to quality care for patients, creating a network to assist patients. 

Congreso’s trained community health workers canvas the community of Eastern North Philadelphia and educate underserved women.  Through one-on-one education, this bilingual and culturally sensitive health team refers women for breast and cervical cancer screenings at Congreso’s Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). 

The program is part of a collaboration among the American Cancer Society, Aramark and Congreso, and began as a pilot in 2014. Together, the organizations hosted multiple events to share the importance of early cancer detection, celebrate cancer survivors and offer resources.  The recent contribution was made to the American Cancer Society’s Community Empowerment and Equity (CEE) program, and was passed along to Congreso to expand the Por Nosotras pilot program to include follow-up care for the uninsured and underinsured.

“We are grateful to Aramark and the American Cancer Society for partnering with us to address this critical need in our community,” said Congreso President and CEO Cynthia F. Figueroa. “This renewed support allows Congreso to extend the continuum of our reproductive health services for underserved women and further our education efforts as part of our mission to strengthen Latino communities.”

In the Congreso service area, the percentage of women 18 years old and over who have not had a pap test in the last three years is 24.9%, compared to 20.5% for the city.  The percentage of women over 40 years old who have not had a mammogram in the past two years is 34.7%, compared to 22.5% in the City and the percentage of women in the service area who have never had a mammogram is almost 20%, more than double the citywide average.

Congreso’s service area in Eastern North Philadelphia is a high-need community.  Fifty-four percent of residents live in poverty, and the average life expectancy of community members in this community is 59.1 years, as compared to 79.5 for Pennsylvanians.  Sixty percent of Congreso’s clients have at least one chronic condition.

Aramark is a founding member of Congreso’s Corporate Advisory Council, and has been a partner for more than 10 years. Aramark and Congreso also work together as part of Aramark Building Community, the company’s volunteer and philanthropic program that improves family health and wellness and helps people succeed in the workforce, in partnership with community centers.

“At Aramark, enriching and nourishing lives is core to who we are,” said Bev Dribin, Aramark Vice President, Public Affairs.  “Through this partnership we’re collectively enabling hundreds of women and families in Philadelphia to take important steps to lead healthier lives. We are extremely proud of our ongoing relationship with Congreso to support health and wellness efforts that have a real and lasting impact on the community.” 

The American Cancer Society’s Kate Mastalski, Senior Manager of Primary Care Systems in the East Central Division, said, “Early detection of cancer is so important and can save thousands of lives.  The partnership with Congreso, with the support of Aramark, has helped reach many in the Philadelphia community in an effort to reduce the cancer burden.   Through this partnership we have empowered a community to take charge of their own health as a crucial part of taking care of their whole family.”  

Community residents interested in scheduling breast or cervical screenings can contact the Congreso Health Center at (267) 765-2272.

Congreso’s Por Nosotras Overview

Congreso’s Por Nosotras addresses the fears, myths, and language issues surrounding women’s reproductive health through culturally and linguistically appropriate education.  The program raises awareness and promotes cervical and breast cancer screenings to underserved women in Eastern North Philadelphia.  Congreso’s caring clinical team and eight highly-trained health workers from the Health Promotion Council reduces barriers to quality care for patients in need of screening. 

Por Nosotras measures success in three ways:  1) an increase in breast and cervical cancer screenings 2) an increase in community awareness via group and one-on-one educational efforts, and 3) ease of client navigation of the healthcare system through the reduction of social and logistical barriers.

About Congreso de Latinos Unidos

Founded in 1977, Congreso’s mission is to strengthen Latino communities through social, economic, education and health services; leadership development and advocacy. Congreso served 15,982 individuals in FY14 through its education, employment, health and social services.

About Aramark

Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) is in the customer service business across food, facilities and uniforms, wherever people work, learn, recover and play. United by a passion to serve, our more than 270,000 employees deliver experiences that enrich and nourish the lives of millions of people in 22 countries around the world every day. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 22 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. during the past two decades, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14.5 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. We’re determined to finish the fight against cancer. We’re finding cures as the nation’s  largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, visit or call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345.


Yvette Nunez, Congreso, 267-241-9361,

Desiree Berenguer Carton, American Cancer Society, 973-703-3241

Mary Rucci, Aramark, 215-238-7110