ZBC Internship Reflections by Leslie Civil

Leslie at Marin Teen Girl conference for web

As a Dominican University student pursuing a degree in Global Public Health (GPH), I wanted to engage in work outside my school environment. I am not from Marin County. I was born and raised in the San Mateo County, specifically in Redwood City. In my second year as an undergraduate, I was presented the opportunity to intern with Zero Breast Cancer. They were seeking a bilingual intern, and with only one day to spare I decided to apply and hoped for the best.

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From the Desk of Catherine Thomsen: Improving Health Education!


equality equity empowerment for web


I recently had the privilege of attending the Society of Public Health Education (SOPHE) conference.  So many researchers and community organizations are doing work relevant to ZBC! I want to summarize what I learned about two topics that are particularly timely: Health Inequity and Health Resources & Media Literacy.

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Get to Know ZBC Partners: Carol MacDonell

Carol image

We spoke with Carol MacDonell this month for the next interview in our Get to Know ZBC Partners series. Carol works at Marin IT and has been a trusted IT consultant for ZBC over the past year. She helps ensure our computer systems run smoothly and sets up new computers, email addresses, VPN access and more. She is always happy to problem solve the issues we face and genuinely cares about the work ZBC does. You might have met her at our 2018 Dipsea Hike, where she volunteered her time to help hikers find their way up the Dipsea steps. Read on to learn about her work and enthusiasm for ZBC’s mission.

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Engaging Community to Build a Survivorship Campaign

Pathways CAB for webCAB Members: Ila Wold, Linda Felix-Monroe, Maria Sierra-Bell, Paula Coombs, Penny Dougherty & Sandi Domingue (Not pictured: Arlene Yee, Cassandra Falby, Martha Tuma & Stacey Tinianov)
Staff: Catherine Thomsen, Janise Roh, Julie Munneke & Virginia Pozo

Zero Breast Cancer (ZBC) has been collaborating on the Pathways Breast Cancer Survivorship study with the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Department of Research for several years. Since 2016, we have been facilitating the creation and meetings of the Pathways Study Community Advisory Board (CAB). The 11 CAB members—8 study participants, a former breast surgeon, a social worker and a community advocate—meet quarterly.

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Get to Know ZBC Partners: Dallas Drotz

Dallas and daughters for web

In the third of our Get to Know ZBC Partners interview series, we talked to Dallas Drotz of Drotz Design. Dallas is a versatile creative talent with excellent listening skills, a thirst for knowledge, a big heart and unending patience! Dallas was introduced to ZBC in 2015 when we needed to find a way to turn the science about early puberty into a health and wellness campaign. It all started with a series of mood boards and the rest is history. Today the body of work that Dallas has teamed with ZBC to create includes infographics in EnglishSpanish, and Chinese; a micro-site in English and Spanish, and a YouTube series in EnglishSpanish, and Chinese!

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Why We Focus on Girls’ Health Before and During Puberty

ZBC New Puberty Campaign Graphic for web

The number of girls starting puberty before age 8 is more than double what it was just a generation ago! And this is a problem: scientific research has shown that earlier development can lead to health issues, both in the short and long term, including increasing lifetime breast cancer risk. 

Puberty is controlled by sex hormones, which are influenced by behaviors and some chemicals in our environment. Girls today have different lifestyles than previous generations. For example, they have fewer opportunities to be active and new distractions that can make it harder to get enough sleep. Kids are also exposed to more and different chemicals that affect hormones. Scientists think that these changes have led to puberty starting earlier than ever before. 

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Get to Know ZBC Partners: Ian Walker

Ian Walker Hurricane Images Inc for webIn this month’s Get to Know ZBC Partners series, we interviewed Ian Walker, owner of Hurricane Images. Ian's health education expertise combined with his skills in editing videos and sound recording have been an invaluable asset to the Girls’ New Puberty campaign. He created the Youth Advisory Board videos for the Girls’ New Puberty microsite, which are also available on YouTube in English and Spanish. Then, he recorded the narration and edited the videos for our animated tips series in English, Spanish, and Chinese. We are always grateful for his support of ZBC’s mission and are excited to share his background and insights with you. 

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zbclink for web

You might have noticed that our web address,, is a bit long. When we add on the exact location of our materials, it's much longer! Some of our materials aren't even housed on our website but exist on YouTube and other platforms. In order to make our materials more easily accessible, we have begun using a branded shortlink: If you go directly to that address, it will state that it is a "Branded Short Domain" without mentioning it belongs to Zero Breast Cancer. However, if you go to a link we have created with it, you will be brought directly to our materials. Here are a few links we have created so far:

Read more: Introducing

Get to Know ZBC Partners: Helaine Alon

Helaine for web

For the first interview of our new series, Get to Know ZBC Partners, we spoke with Helaine Alon, ZBC’s Communications Coordinator. Helaine started working with ZBC in October 2017. In her time with us, she has helped to overhaul the website, revitalize our social media pages, and write numerous book reviews and blog articles. We wish her well as she is moving on to new opportunities and are very grateful for the important work she has accomplished during her time with ZBC. 

Read more: Get to Know ZBC Partners: Helaine Alon