If there’s a single truth that associate professor of nursing Emma Mitchell knows from 10 years of fighting cervical cancer, it’s this: Tailored approaches work.
They work in rural areas like Southwest Virginia, where cervical cancer mortality is two to three times higher than elsewhere in the state. They work in global settings, where stigma and access inhibit preventative care and curative treatment. And, cemented by long-forged relationships, they work during pandemics.
Over the last decade, Mitchell’s connection to Nicaragua – home to the Central American and Caribbean region’s highest cervical cancer mortality rates – has forged alliances with a fantastic array of colleagues. She’s well-known in the region, to Nicaragua’s Ministry of Health authorities, at the two universities on the Caribbean coast, and a familiar face and name to the dozens of clinicians who staff clinics.
It’s in Bluefields where Mitchell and partner Dr. Rebecca Dillingham, an infectious diseases expert, professor of medicine and director of UVA’s Center for Global Health Equity, put cervical cancer in their crosshairs – developing nuanced systems to screen, follow up and treat patients who’d developed cervical cancer, which is caused by high-risk genotypes of the human papilloma virus, or HPV. Read more >>