The Ovarian Cancer Alliance (OCA) of San Diego was founded in 2013 by Peg Ford, an ovarian cancer survivor, and Kathy Hagan, who lost her mother to ovarian cancer. Applying Peg’s marketing and communications skills, she started this organization to support and increase expansion of her initial advocacy efforts to raise awareness of the symptoms and risk factors for the early detection of ovarian cancer. Peg, considered herself to be one of the very fortunate as she was diagnosed at Stage 1 (unheard of in most cases), implemented the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) “Survivors Teaching Students®” Program at UCSD School of Medicine for Third Year Medical Students in December 2008. By 2012 she had expanded the program to prominent Schools of Nursing throughout the county, and after considering the urgent need to reach practicing medical doctors, she collaborated with Dr. Afshin Bahador, Gynecologic Oncologist, to participate in his CME Grand Round presentations at major hospitals in San Diego County to practicing physicians and healthcare providers to rave reviews.
This grant expanded the HEAR™ program. Established in 2013, the HEAR™ is a community outreach program where OCA of San Diego volunteers provide presentations to civic groups and organizations. The presentations are aimed at raising awareness about the signs, symptoms and risk factors of ovarian cancer. HEAR™ also is designed to inspire women to be aware of changes in their bodies and to seek medical attention. An individual is the best advocate for their health issues.