TB Patient Peer Support Navigator, Jackie (she/her) Cuen, will pilot a peer support outreach effort for CTCA in partnership with the San Diego County Tuberculosis Control and Refugee Health Program. An expert in her own experience with TB and fluent in Spanish and English, Jackie is eager to offer support to TB patients.
Jackie joined the San Diego TB Survivor group in 2019 and was excited to see how she could get more involved. She was introduced to and joined We Are TB, a national volunteer membership organization made up of former and current TB patients and their family members, working together to offer peer support to TB patients and provide education to the general public and policy leaders about the ongoing impact of TB in the U.S.
Unfortunately, most Americans believe that tuberculosis (TB) is a disease of the past. Each year, approximately 2,000 Californians and 10,000 in the U.S. are diagnosed with TB. In California 2.5 million are estimated to be living with TB infection, the latent (inactive) form of TB. At any point, TB infection can make a person sick and be contagious, a threat to family and friends. Educating medical providers and community members with risks for TB that TB is a dangerous threat in the U.S. is an ongoing challenge.
Jackie will provide peer support herself or connect TB patients to We Are TB volunteers with similar experiences, when preferred. For example, parents of children diagnosed with TB or women diagnosed while pregnant, may prefer peer support from someone that has had a similar TB experience. In addition to offering peer support, she will provide an important TB patient perspective to TB elimination planning and will speak out about her experience to educate the public and medical providers about the persistence of TB in California.