In 2008, we were very proud to have expanded the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® series beyond its domestic Komen Affiliate network by establishing successful partnerships with leading nonprofit organizations from around the world. The International Race series has changed the way communities around the world view and react to the words “breast cancer” and how breast cancer survivors are regarded in their respective countries.
While each International Race is unique, they all have the common goal of increasing breast cancer awareness, providing a sense of hope and community to those who have suffered from the disease and educating the public and local governments about breast health. Race events create a positive environment in which breast cancer is put in the public eye. Despite local taboos, we have seen the power of women around the world breaking the silence about breast cancer. On Race day, brave survivors acknowledge their disease and continue to dispel myths about breast cancer, serving as ambassadors for the cause. As a result, other survivors feel hopeful and women are empowered to take control of their health.
As Komen is now in the middle of our 2014 Application and Review cycle for new Research grants, we wanted to take a moment to highlight one of our Advocate reviewers, and her impressions of taking part in Peer Review meetings back in February of 2013 that helped to decide our new 2013 Research Grant slate.
Guest post by Komen Advocates in Science Member Mildred (Millie) Garcia.
I have served as an advocate and scientific reviewer for Komen in many areas of health disparities, including Career Catalyst, Investigator Initiated Research, and Post Doctoral Fellows Programs. I have been active with the Komen Advocates in Science (KAIS), serving on the selection committee for initial members, as mentor to new members, and on the KAIS Communications Working Group.
My efforts as an advocate focusing on health and education have allowed me to participate in many interesting and exciting activities, including the opportunity to serve as an advocate reviewer on the 2012-2013 Investigator Initiated Research Grants – Disparities in Breast Cancer Outcomes: Outcomes of Specific Populations after Diagnosis.
Guest post by Margaret Flowers, PhD., Komen Science Manager, Mission Dept: Grants and Programs Management.
I recently had the pleasure to speak at the 16th Annual Yuma County Pink Tea Celebration of Life in Yuma, AZ at the invitation of Sarah Lydick, Director of Women’s Health at the Regional Center for Border Health, Inc. (RCFBH). The RCFBH Breast Health Awareness Program has been supported by Komen Southern Arizona Affiliate community grants for over 12 years and hosts this event each October to honor breast cancer survivors and their families.
When I arrived, I was greeted by Sarah and RCFBH President & CEO, Amanda Aguirre, who gave me a brief orientation to the program of events. All around me, RCFBH staff and volunteers were busy putting the final touches on pink and white draped tables and chairs, while community sponsors and participants were assembling peripheral displays of education materials, donations for auction, and artists’ exhibits.
Guest post by Jeremy Patch, Community Health Analyst; Lauren Groves, Manager, Community Grants; and Kylie Davidson, Community Health Specialist.
One of the most gratifying aspects of our work on Komen’s Mission Team is seeing how our grant-funded programs are benefitting the people who need us the most. We’re known as an organization that funds more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit (second only to the federal government). But we’ve always believed that we have to be of service to people in our neighborhoods who need help – especially the uninsured, low-income or medically underserved people who often face breast cancer without insurance, money, knowledge, community support or some combination of all three. From our very first days three decades ago, we’ve made it a point to engage and support our communities.
That’s why we were delighted to be invited to present our work at last week’s 141st annual American Public Health Association (APHA) conference in Boston. It was quite an event, with more than 13,000 public health professionals and students all engaged in bringing meaningful public health programs to their communities. We were there to present our partnership with the Mexican consulate to provide culturally relevant breast health education to Mexican women living in the United States.
Guest post by Janet Vigen Levy, Director, Public Relations & Marketing, Susan G. Komen St Louis.
As National Breast Cancer Awareness Month came to a close, Komen St. Louis hosted Komen President and CEO Dr. Judy Salerno on a two-day whirlwind tour. Our mission: to show Dr. Salerno firsthand the year-round impact of Susan G. Komen® and Komen St. Louis in our community.
Local Dollars Making a Local Impact
Our destinations included two of Komen St. Louis’ community partners, each helping women right now by providing safety-net services in underserved neighborhoods.
The first stop was at the Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Centers; Komen St. Louis funding supports the People’s Sister Connection program. The program offers medically underserved and uninsured African-American women access to the quality breast health care they need, including breast health education, clinical breast exams and screening mammograms. The program staff told our group about the four mammogram events they coordinated in the week leading up to our visit. They are on track to provide more than 800 mammograms to women who may not otherwise get them.