Meet Keiva Bland, MD, a breast surgeon in our Toledo market who’s making a real impact in underserved communities, like some in the Dominican Republic. Her mission work and dedication to breast health are nothing short of inspiring.
Bringing hope and help to others
Dr. Bland visits the Dominican Republic on a yearly mission trip to support the women there. She provides education about the importance of breast health and women’s health in general.
She also knows that good-quality bras are hard to find for some women in the Dominican Republic, so she ensures women have access to them during her missions. Any extras are donated to the local church, expanding the reach of these efforts.
Dr. Bland’s mission work was recognized with a prestigious award for making a significant impact. She’s a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., in the international region, and was honored with one of four inaugural Global Spotlight Awards for making a significant difference in people’s lives whom she serves.
Dr. Bland’s mission work and her desire to make a positive impact began with her love for the Dominican Republic as well as the opportunity to join with her brother’s church from Southern California when they returned for their annual mission. For her, it’s all about collective efforts.
“Every time you go back, you can see where what you did has been built upon,” she explains. “Whether it’s services such as painting houses or providing medical services, every action contributes to lasting change.”
She vividly remembers the transformation she’s witnessed over the years on her mission trips, from an open field to a fully functional sports and educational complex, or the hole in the ground becoming a four-story medical facility.
Working in underserved communities comes with its own set of challenges. For example, Dr. Bland highlighted the high cost of paper products in the Dominican Republic and period health products, which can be a burden for the local population.
“Providing these products is a way to alleviate some of the daily struggles faced by the women of the Dominican Republic,” she shares.
Dr. Bland’s mission work goes beyond medical care; it’s about empowering women through education. In women-only settings, she hosts health talks where women can comfortably ask questions without fear of stigma.
“They become more aware and more open,” she notes.
Promoting breast cancer awareness at home
In her local community and medical practice, Dr. Bland actively promotes breast cancer awareness and early detection. She emphasizes the importance of self-exams for both men and women, saying, “cancers are often found when you check yourself. Don’t fear what you might find, fear what you might miss! Early detection is a key factor in achieving successful outcomes in breast cancer treatment.”
She also shares a personal perspective, saying, “No one is exempt from the risk of breast cancer, including my own mother, who is currently completing her chemotherapy treatment for this disease. It’s crucial for people to be vigilant and informed about breast cancer because early detection often leads to the most favorable outcomes.”