Great Granddaughter of Henrietta Lacks discusses access to quality healthcare in Jackson

Veronica Robinson now works as a community activist

Great Granddaughter of Henrietta Lacks discusses access to quality healthcare in Jackson
The great granddaughter of Henrietta Lacks, the woman whose cancer cells were removed and used in research without her consent or knowledge speaks in Jackson. (SOURCE: WLBT)

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Susan G. Komen Memphis Mid-South Mississippi is working to end disparities in breast cancer treatment and outcomes.

Wednesday night, the group got some high powered support in that effort.

Veronica Robinson, a community activist and the great granddaughter of Henrietta Lacks, was in Jackson to discuss the importance of access to medical care.

Veronica Robinson is the great granddaughter of Henrietta Lacks. She now works to encourage African Americans to seek preventive, quality healthcare. (SOURCE: WLBT)
Veronica Robinson is the great granddaughter of Henrietta Lacks. She now works to encourage African Americans to seek preventive, quality healthcare. (SOURCE: WLBT)

Lacks was the African American woman whose cancer cells were removed and used in research without her knowledge or consent. That research helped develop the polio vaccine.

Robinson says she now works to remove the fear African Americans have in seeking preventive and quality healthcare.

“So many African American people have those type of stories in their homes, so we have to figure out how we can bridge that gap between the community and medicine and right some of the wrongs that happened in the past and move forward,” Robinson said.

The Breast Cancer Disparities Conference begins Thursday in Jackson. Veronica Robinson is one of the featured speakers. (SOURCE: WLBT)
The Breast Cancer Disparities Conference begins Thursday in Jackson. Veronica Robinson is one of the featured speakers. (SOURCE: WLBT)

Organizers of the conference say Mississippi is in the top 10 percent for breast cancer death rates, especially for African American women. They say their work is focusing on addressing the issue as a public health crisis.

The group wants to make sure everyone has access to quality breast health services no matter where they live in the state or their socio-economic status.

The Breast Cancer Disparities Conference begins Thursday at the Jackson Convention Center.

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