2013 Here For Good Awards Winner Patsy Pamela Ordoñez Continues Fight Against Cervical Cancer
Universidad del Valle de México graduate Patsy Pamela Ordoñez founded the National Foundation for Cervical Cancer (FUNACC) in 2010. FUNACC aims to prevent cases of cervical cancer by raising awareness and vaccinating men and women, especially from low-income populations, against the human papilloma virus (HPV), the leading cause of cervical cancer.
Since then, the 2013 Here for Good Awards winner has continued her tireless efforts to prevent cervical cancer. In August, Ordoñez and her team of volunteers vaccinated over 1800 men and and women against HPV. The beneficiaries come from the Mexican states of Puebla, Estado de México, and Michoacán.
Ordoñez has volunteered for health-related organizations since she was 15 years old. In 2009, she graduated from the UVM Communication Sciences program. In an entreprenurship course at UVM, she was asked to develop a business model for a company. Instead, Ordoñez developed the idea of a foundation to support women’s health.
Her initial idea was to focus on gender violence or breast cancer. However, upon more thorough research, she noted the high incidence of HPV, cervical cancer, and the lack of organizations supporting these causes. Hence, FUNACC was born.
“In our first year, while still developing the operation model, we started going to communities and listening to people. As a student of communications, my main goal was to provide information, so my mother and I began talking to the women in the communities about how to prevent the disease,” said Ordoñez. “Once I had convinced them that they needed to take care of themselves, the question was how. They had no easy access to gynecologists or clinics. I enlisted the help of some of my doctor friends who gave free consultations.”
Over time, through the sale and administering of vaccines, FUNACC was able to raise capital to establish a gynecological clinic for women of different regions in Mexico. Women started coming to the clinic. Ordoñez was happy with the progress, but wanted to find a way to reach the most vulnerable women who were unable to go to the clinic because of distance and transportation. It was then that Ordoñez decided to change the operating model of FUNACC.
Nowadays, the FUNACC team takes doctors to isolated or vunerable regions to provide medical care twice a month. They develop extensive campaigns of vaccination and awareness in communities where information is scarce.
Click here to learn more about the work of FUNACC in the fight against cervical cancer.