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VI Department of Health to Present Comprehensive Cancer Plan at Second Annual Cancer Summit

St. Thomas, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – The VI Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Division, in partnership with the USVI Cancer Coalition, is hosting the second annual USVI Cancer Summit to present the Territory’s first comprehensive plan to improve access to cancer care and to expand education and outreach.

The summit will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10th, at the Westin Beach Resort and Spa at Frenchman’s Reef on St. Thomas. The department invites the public to watch the livestream of the presentations and to share their thoughts and ideas in the comment section. The public may view the livestream at and at YouTube/USVI_DOH.

“This week’s summit is the culmination of a year of collaboration to develop a plan that is tailored to the unique challenges of the Territory and that provides a path to improving health outcomes,” said VI Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion. “Cancer has deeply affected the USVI community, touching many of us in one way or another. We are truly excited to present the cancer plan and look forward to the opportunity to put it into action.”

The Chronic Disease Division has reported that cancer is the second leading cause of death in the Territory after cardiovascular disease, which aligns with national trends. Breast and prostate cancers are most common for females and males, respectively.

Among the contributing stakeholders is the USVI Cancer Coalition, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the American Cancer Society, and the Office of the Governor’s Office of Health Information Technology.

“Working together, we identified service gaps, barriers to health equity, and addressed cancer prevention and control in the Territory,” said Lyna Fredericks, Director of the Chronic Disease Division. “With the USVI Cancer Plan, our ultimate goal is to reduce cancer incidence, mortality, and the economic burden of care in the US Virgin Islands.”

Director Fredericks added that the partnership fostered through the USVI Cancer Summit is also crucial to the department’s initiative to increase prevention through early detection, to expand health care access for disadvantaged communities and to better support those diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers.