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Cover Story: Louanne Roark – A Passion for Service
By: Karen A. Newman
Posted: February 11, 2008, from the February 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.
page 6 of 7A Program of Growth
What started as a program for women has grown to include programs for men and teens. In additon, the LGFB program has been translated into Spanish. These program expansions have all helped the organization reach additional audiences in need of services, and they have been well received, according to Roark. “Without program materials, including the Web site in Spanish and Spanish speaking volunteers, there would be a sizeable population who could not benefit from LGFB,” says Roark.
“There are often multiple barriers to patients receiving care and support in underserved communities, but the addition of this program element has removed the language barrier.”
This year will see a top-to-bottom update of program materials, which Roark says has not happened in a number of years. The program makeover will position LGFB for a 20th anniversary celebration in 2009.
Around the world, the LGFB program is thriving, says Roark, and evolving into a truly global brand. The program is currently offered in 18 countries, in addition to the U.S., with several other sites investigating starting LGFB programs this year. Last October, Roark hosted a LGFB Working Session with 17 of 19 countries represented to focus on ways to more closely collaborate on activities, content, materials development, product procurement, public relations and funding initiatives. It was reported at the meeting that globally LGFB has served more than 825,000 cancer survivors since the program began in the U.S. in 1989. “As our numbers continue to grow, so grows the global impact of LGFB, and we can’t be more proud of the global contribution our industry is making,” says Roark.
An international LGFB steering committee has been established, including Roark and several members from global corporate supporters, to develop approaches to protect and uphold the LGFB global brand, help strategically map the future course of international expansion, and offer more comprehensive support for countries developing the program and with young programs.