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Drexel University College of Medicine Awarded a Community Grant from Susan G. Komen® Philadelphia to Fuel Its Breast Cancer Mission

February 27, 2017

Susan G. Komen® Philadelphia recently announced the awarding of $618,487 in grants to 14 organizations to advance critical and life-saving breast cancer early detection and treatment programs, as well as education and navigation services, in 2017-2018.

The grantee group, which includes Drexel University College of Medicine, represents some of the finest health care, community and family service organizations from throughout Komen Philadelphia's 15-county service area. Each grantee is focusing their Komen Philadelphia-funded program on closing the gap in breast cancer disparities by advancing outreach initiatives and providing women in need with access to vital breast health services.

For the 2017-2018 grant period, Komen Philadelphia distributed $618,487 in grants to support breast health education, awareness, screening and treatment initiatives specifically targeting medically underserved, uninsured and/or low-income populations. Drexel University College of Medicine received a screening, diagnostic and treatment grant from the Komen Philadelphia Community Grants Program to fund its program The Drexel University Center for Breast Health and Wellness Project. The program focuses on providing culturally tailored outreach, education and patient navigation services.

Drexel University Center for Breast Health and Wellness received a screening, diagnostic and treatment grant from the Komen Philadelphia Community Grants Program.
Pictured (center): Amanda M. Woodworth, MD, director of Breast Health and Wellness Center, assistant professor of Surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine, and Lauren Davis, MPH, director of Clinical Operations at Drexel University College of Medicine. Also pictured from Komen Philadelphia: Sloane Six and Denise DiSimone, Board Members; Elaine I . Grobman, CEO; Shannon Natale, JD, Program Director, Grants & Public Policy.

"Susan G. Komen has recently asserted our bold goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50 percent by the year 2026," said Elaine I. Grobman, chief executive officer of Komen Philadelphia. "It's an aggressive goal, but one in which we have complete confidence in large part due to fighting forces like our grantees. They are our mission in action. And because of them, more and more women are surviving breast cancer."

Komen Philadelphia distributes grants to organizations that work with the medically underserved, including uninsured and underinsured individuals and those individuals who may not receive adequate care because of barriers such as language, cultural differences and financial ability.

Grants fall into two categories: screening/treatment and community navigation and education. Grants are made possible by the organization's family of supporters, which range from "Race for the Cure" sponsors and participants to individual donors.

"This past summer, Komen Philadelphia also got to work on a new goal to reduce the number of late-stage breast cancer diagnoses in our local community by 10 percent in a five-year period," said Grobman. "We must go deeper into the neighborhoods to reach the women who still aren't receiving or acting on our messages. We must get these women in for screening sooner so, if they do have breast cancer, it is detected at earlier stages and can be treated more successfully."

Komen Philadelphia's rigorous grantee selection process assures funded programs uphold the integrity of the Komen name and meet the needs of diverse communities throughout its service area. In total, the programs funded by 2017-2018 Komen Philadelphia grants are expected to accomplish the following:

  • Screening mammograms: 1,965
  • Clinical breast exams: 590
  • Diagnostic services: 808
  • Community & patient navigation services: 1,130
  • Interpretation/translation hours: 104
  • Transportation assistance: 30
  • Temporary Gap Funding/financial assistance: 44
  • Education & outreach contacts: 4,875

"Today, there are more than 3 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S., but we still have a long way to go," said Shannon Natale, JD, program director, Grants & Public Policy, Komen Philadelphia. "This time last year, just in our service area alone there were approximately 800,000 people without health insurance, and 1.2 million who were underinsured or couldn't pay out-of-pocket costs for care. We simply cannot let these barriers prevent lives from being saved. Drexel University College of Medicine and all of our grantees are extremely resourceful as well as extremely devoted to breaking down these barriers and giving thousands of people access to quality breast health services."

The 2017-2018 Komen Philadelphia Community Grant money is a result of the organization's fund-raising efforts throughout 2016, the largest contributor being the annual Susan G. Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure.® Komen Philadelphia is hopeful this year's race (Mother's Day, May 14) will help drive even greater grant resources for the years ahead.

"When many people hear our race can raise $2 million in a year, many think, 'oh well, that's plenty,' but I assure you, it only scratches the surface," said Grobman. "The progress we've made in motivating women to practice early detection and prioritize their breast health over the past two decades means more women than ever are now seeking more of the services our Community Grant Program was established to deliver. Our progress means we need to keep raising more money so we can adequately serve these growing numbers."

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