Jan. 27, 2015

HARRISBURG – State Rep. Julie Harhart (R-Lehigh/Northampton) today had two resolutions adopted by the House of Representatives to increase awareness of the importance of cervical cancer screenings and the need for additional mentors serving youth across the Commonwealth.

House Resolution 10 designates January 2015 as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. Cervical cancer is currently the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women worldwide, yet with regular and accurate screening it is also highly preventable.

“Thanks to the latest technology and screening practices, along with vaccination, we have the opportunity to finally eliminate cervical cancer in America,” said Harhart. “The challenge now is spreading awareness of the disease and encouraging women to have proper screenings for cervical cancer and to consider whether a vaccination is right for them.”

The primary cause of cervical cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices have jointly recommended the use of an HPV vaccine for adolescents and young adults, both female and male, between 11 and 26 years of age. Women are also encouraged to have regular screenings for cervical cancer.

Women who are uninsured may be eligible for free screening for cervical cancer through the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s HealthyWoman Program. For more information on the program, go to Harhart’s website at JulieHarhart.com and click on the “HealthyWoman” banner.

The second legislative measure Harhart has authored, and was adopted by the House, is House Resolution 16, which recognizes January 2015 as National Mentoring Month in Pennsylvania.

“Mentors provide positive guidance, support and encouragement to our youth and help them to improve their social skills, achieve greater emotional and cognitive development, and make smarter decisions when faced with life choices,” said Harhart. “During this month, we need to show our appreciation for those individuals who take time out of their lives to participate in a mentoring program and encourage more people to consider becoming a mentor themselves.”

Harhart said research shows participation in a high-quality mentoring relationship successfully reduces incidence of violence, delinquency, substance abuse and academic failure in young people. Furthermore, in addition to being beneficial for those being mentored, participation is also extremely rewarding to those serving as mentors.

Pennsylvania mentoring programs are currently reaching approximately about 12,000 young people; however, there is still a serious mentoring gap, with thousands of youth currently in need of mentors. Harhart is hopeful the month-long celebration of mentoring will encourage more individuals and organizations to participate in mentoring programs.

For more information on Harhart and her legislative initiatives, go to JulieHarhart.com or Facebook.com/RepHarhart.

Representative Julie Harhart
183rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Tricia Lehman