Susan G. Komen Virginia Blue Ridge to Disaffiliate From National Organization

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Assets and funds will be locally distributed as restricted gifts, and operations will formally cease effective March 31, 2021

Susan G. Komen Virginia Blue Ridge, the regional breast cancer affiliate has announced it will elect to disaffiliate from its recently restructured parent organization, Susan G. Komen. The election will formally take effect on December 3, 2020. The move will result in the closure of local operations, the layoff of two staff members and distribution of $500,000 in restricted gifts to local healthcare groups to direct towards breast cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, and patient services.

In April, Komen Headquarters announced a series of changes to its operations that included centralizing the operations of its Affiliate Network through the closure of 60 local offices and integrating the operations of the affiliates into its Dallas headquarters.

“Komen Headquarters has stressed they are not pulling out of affiliate communities.  The reality is that, moving forward, money raised locally will no longer be as directly accessible to the people here in Southwest Virginia – particularly underinsured and at-risk individuals” said Catherine Warren, Executive Director, Susan G. Komen, Virginia Blue Ridge.

“While personally painful to so many of us in the breast cancer community, we know this move is the only way we can honor the donor intent  of the funds that have been raised here,” added Tara Nepper, chair of the board of directors. “Our ongoing promise throughout our history has been that 75% of net proceeds are invested into local health care programs and resources to directly improve the lives and outcomes of southwest Virginians affected by breast cancer. That remains our promise and we’re pleased that so many wonderful local groups can continue our work and mission on our behalf.”

The Virginia Blue Ridge Affiliate Board of Directors voted in November to elect to disaffiliate effective December 3, 2020, and selected the following regional organizations to receive funding:

  • Ballad Health
  • Carilion Clinic
  • Centra’s Pearson Cancer Center
  • Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, Carla Finkielstein
  • Martinsville Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness
  • Piedmont Access to Health Services
  • Virginia Department of Health, Mt. Rogers

Since its founding in 2006, Susan G. Komen Virginia Blue Ridge has funded $4.78 Million in support of their promise to end breast cancer.  Komen Virginia Blue Ridge has invested $3.45 Million in community breast health services and $1.33 Million in breast cancer research.