Women’s health lecture teaches importance of checkups and Pap smears

May Khin

The “Women’s Health Workshop” event discussed the importance of women’s health and regular doctor’s examinations on March 13 in honor of Women’s History Month.

Linda Jean-Baptiste, a physician assistant from Baruch College’s Student Health Center, raised awareness of cervical cancer and spoke about the importance of getting regular checkups and Pap smears.

“It’s very important because many people are walking around and they don’t have any symptoms,” said Jean-Baptiste. “They think that when you are sick, that’s when you see the doctor.”

A Pap smear is the only way to tell if one has cervical cancer as there are no noticeable symptoms. The screening test detects precancerous and cancerous cells and is for people ages 21 to 65.

“Pap smear is cervical cancer screening as well as screening for HPV, because sometimes the cells are affected by high-grade HPV as well, especially for the older people,” said Jean-Baptiste.

Student Yasmin Seweid said it was interesting to learn about cervical cancer and Pap smears.

“I thought it was just ovarian cancer,” said Seweid. “I didn’t know there was so many different kinds so it was really beneficial
to know.”

New York City offers low to no cost Pap smears in all borough except for Staten Island. Baruch College’s Health Center provides Pap smears for $27 to students who are uninsured.

“I think it’s really interesting that we have such great resources here at Baruch College to all the students,” said Seweid. “It’s just a low cost so that it’s available to everyone, not just people who [have] insurance.”

Crystal Tejada, the assistant director of student activities at the Office of Student Life, oversaw Women’s History Month.

“The event went really well. There’s a lot of information out there that young girls need to know,” Tejada said. “So I am glad the audience had questions and clearly these are things they are not aware of.”

“I am humbled that they called me to do it because it’s really something that you don’t get to do all the time. I am always at the clinic,” Jean-Baptiste said. “I like these events because it makes students aware. I think we need more students to come.”