The Virginia Blue Ridge Affiliate of Susan G. Komen has announced it has contributed $106,000 to National Breast Cancer Research and over $360,000 to fund seven innovative local breast health programs.
The Virginia Blue Ridge Affiliate is working diligently to guarantee that every woman in this area has access to breast health care and education. “To meet needs we have discovered right here in our community, this year’s grants specifically address funding for screening and diagnostic mammograms, outreach and breast health education programs, and treatment assistance for uninsured and underinsured women and men,” said Catherine
Warren, Executive Director of the Affiliate. Since 2008, the Virginia Blue Ridge Affiliate of Susan G. Komen has raised over $3.3 Million for both local Breast Cancer programs and National Breast Cancer Research.
This year marks an expansion of the Affiliate’s service area with 11 more counties and cities covered by Susan G. Komen Virginia Blue Ridge. The expansion has allowed more grants to be funded to ensure services will be provided to those communities that need it most.
Area agencies designated to receive Komen grants from the Virginia Blue Ride Affiliate include Carilion Clinic Breast Care Center, Roanoke, VA ($71,042); Centra’s Pearson Cancer Center’s Comprehensive Breast Program, Lynchburg, VA ($68,200); Cumberland Plateau Health District, Lebanon, VA ($15,654); LENOWISCO, Wise, VA ($19,871) Martinsville-Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness, Martinsville, VA ($50,682); Piedmont Access to Health
Services, Inc., Danville, VA ($70,007); and the Virginia Department of Health, Mount Rogers Health District, Marion, VA ($62,259).
In order to guarantee that noteworthy area programs are being funded that provide assistance to women who previously have been underserved, the Komen Virginia Blue Ridge Affiliate works closely with local health care professionals and community leaders. The group conducts a comprehensive community needs assessment across a 42 city/county area. This community profile, a standard practice of all Komen Affiliates, is then used to establish a local grant application and review process consistent with Komen standards and mission.
Findings from the Komen Virginia Blue Ridge Affiliate 2015-2019 Community Profile reveal that access to and timely progression through the breast cancer continuum of care is believed to reduce breast cancer mortality rates and numbers of late-stage diagnoses. Receiving regular screening mammograms lowers an individual’s risk of dying from breast cancer; however, individuals often present with late-stage diagnoses and would have a greater chance of survival if the breast cancer was found early and treated.
Susan G. Komen Virginia Blue Ridge’s grantees – as well as the Affiliate’s continued work with fundraising, education, outreach, and community partnerships – will play a huge role in helping the national organization reach its Big Bold Goal of reducing the number of breast cancer deaths by 50% by 2026.
“Over 40,000 women in the United States will die of breast cancer in 2017 alone. To conceptualize the scope of those numbers, that is equal to the entire student population of Virginia Tech and Radford passing away each and every year,” explains Elizabeth Hand, Mission Coordinator for the Affiliate.
This year’s funded grant programs will not only assist in delivering life-saving treatments to patients in the community, but will work to dismantle barriers to care while also promoting early detection to improve survival rates. These efforts, in addition to the Affiliate’s contributions to national breast cancer research, will pave the way to not only achieving the Big Bold Goal, but ending breast cancer forever.
With the support of their signature fundraiser, the Komen Virginia Blue Ridge Race for the Cure, the Affiliate can continue to provide medical care for these women and financially support community programs. This year’s race will be held on Saturday, April 29th. Board President, Heather Ferguson, encourages the community to support the event.
“Without the continued commitment of the community, our Affiliate would not be able to provide lifesaving breast health navigation, breast cancer screening, diagnostics, treatment and treatment support services for uninsured and underinsured women (and men) in need.” This year’s race expects over 2,000 participants. Learn more about the race or sign up to participate at www.komenvablueridge.org/race.
For more information visit www.komenvablueridge.org.