Local woman receives Rural Health Champion Award
by Paisley Boston
Nov 29, 2013 | 859 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Freddie White-Johnson of Ruleville has been awarded the University of Mississippi Medical Center Rural Health Champion Award.

According to Chief Community Health Officer for the University of Mississippi Medical Center Michael Jone, Johnson is an unsung hero who deserves recognition for all of her efforts.

"The award was given in recognition of National Rural and Health Development Day and it was actually thought of by one of our professors who serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Rural Health and Health Disparities at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. It was her vision, along with several others at the medical center to recognize people throughout the state who are doing great things as far as rural health is concerned," said Jone.

Johnson received this award in honor of all of the diligence and persistence that she has displayed in helping to prevent cancer.

She works in many counties—spreading the word about cancer prevention and she has also helped hundreds of individuals receive free mammograms and pap smears.

Johnson is very passionate about her job and takes great pride in helping individuals.

"We considered Mrs. Freddie White-Johnson for this award because she is one of those individuals who is on the ground—pretty much she is an army of one tackling issues of cancer in the Mississippi Delta," Jone said.

"We realize her passion and we wanted to recognize and acknowledge all of the work that she has done in rural health," he added.

Johnson currently works earnestly throughout the state with the University of Southern Mississippi.

Together, the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation and the University of Southern Mississippi work directly in the community addressing cancer health disparities and promoting screening. 

In 2012, the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation in collaboration with the Mississippi Network for Cancer Control and Prevention, a program of the University of Southern Mississippi, assisted more than 450 women in the Mississippi Delta with a mammogram at little or no cost.

Of the 450 women, 21 of them women were diagnosed with breast cancer.

"We had a 62 year old patient who had never been to the doctor. A lot of women fail to get mammograms because they fear that the financial burden may fall on them or their family members. We try to help ease their worries by providing them with financial assistance, and by directing them to various agencies that will help with treatment and emotional counseling. Cancer not only affects the individual it affects the individual's entire family," said Johnson.

Jone said that the work that Johnson does is very important

"We wish that we had more people like her in the Delta doing the kind of work that she does. She deserves a lot more recognition for the work that she has done and is doing," said Jone.

According to Johnson, she lives by the motto "Become a HERO and leave a legacy for others to follow – REACH one, TEACH one, SAVE one.”

Johnson said that she was elated to have received such a prestigious award and she plans to continue her efforts in the community.