A Small Group Delivers a Mighty Impact for Health Equity

The Miami-Dade County chapter of The Charmettes, Inc., reached a fundraising milestone in support of Dr. Sophia George’s work.

Tara Paramore, Miami-Dade Chapter President (left) and Cecily Robinson-Duffie, Charmettes National President (right) pose in front of Dr. George's newly named office
Tara Paramore (left), The Charmettes Miami-Dade Chapter president, and Cecily Robinson-Duffie, national president, pose in front of Dr. George’s newly named office.

A dynamic group of women from the Miami-Dade County chapter of The Charmettes, Inc. came together to mark a milestone in their support of cancer research and care at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, a part of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Members of the national civic organization dedicated to eradicating cancer completed a multi-year fundraising campaign to raise $50,000 dollars to support the research of Sophia George, Ph.D. Dr. George is a molecular geneticist, the associate director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Sylvester and an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the Miller School.

Dr. George’s research focuses on understanding sporadic and inherited breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers in Black women. The Charmettes’ contribution will allow her team to collect preliminary data that can strengthen applications for grants from the National Institutes of Health.

To commemorate The Charmettes’ support, Dr. George’s office was named in their honor following a plaque dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony April 19 on the Miller’s School campus.

Dr. George (center) standing with the Charmettes Miami-Dade chapter
Dr. George (center) standing with The Charmettes Miami-Dade chapter.

Cecily Robinson-Duffie, Esq., the 22nd national president of The Charmettes, who lost her mother-in-law to cancer, acknowledged the importance of this partnership.

“This partnership is not just a game-changer for us,” Robinson-Duffie said, “It’s iconic. The work Dr. George and Sylvester are doing is so important, especially for the Black community. We wanted to support research that can positively impact our community for generations to come.”

The Charmettes’ 20 members raised funds through a virtual walkathon, a St. Patrick’s Day “Give Green” initiative and sales proceeds from a cookbook.

Tara Paramore, Miami-Dade Chapter president, said the group is proud of what their team accomplished. They hope that other grassroots organizations will see that they can make an impact without raising millions of dollars and are inspired to pursue a goal that may seem unreachable.

“Be bold,” Paramore said. “Don’t let failure move you away from your purpose. Let your vision for the legacy that you would like to leave be the motivation that pushes you forward.”

The partnership is part of Sylvester’s larger commitment to address health disparities across research and treatment for women in underserved communities.

“I’m passionate about understanding the development of these aggressive diseases that disproportionately affect Black women,” Dr. George said. “We want to prevent disease and improve outcomes so that all moms, sisters, aunts and daughters with these cancers can live longer.”

Tags: fundraising, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center