Pride Center of Vermont (PCVT) began collaborating with the Vermont Department of Health’s You First program (formerly known as Ladies First) in 2018. The first initiative of the collaboration was to create a campaign that took the gender out of cancer screenings and focused on the body parts that we possess and when those should be screened. In fact, PCVT was an integral partner in the process of the program being renamed You First in an effort of being more inclusive.

The Got ‘Em Screen ‘Em campaign was born out of an initial brainstorming session between Taylor Small, at that time our Health & Wellness Coordinator, Josie Leavitt, then Director of Development, and Justin Marsh, who had been contracted to design and implement the campaign. In the session, they sketched a simple mock-up of what it could look like, again with the focus being on the body parts. Josie pointed to a Puff’s tissue box and noted how she liked that color scheme. And with that, the rest fell together.

An early brainstorming sketch of the campaign

The tissue box that inspired the color scheme of the campaign

The final campaign poster

The campaign has since been a staple of the Health & Wellness program and materials from it have been shared with the more than 200 healthcare providers of Vermont Diversity Health Project. The campaign also has been recognized repeatedly at both the state and national level, including most recently, a video produced by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) produced several videos of their awardees for their 30th anniversary. Filmed this summer, the video features You First program managers Justin Pentenrieder and Nancy Kaplan, PCVT’s Justin Marsh, healthcare advocate Amelia Schlossberg, and community member and cancer survivor Chip Viau. You can watch the video below.