April 11, 2002-The local Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation announces that Nuestra Comunidad Sana, based in Hood River, has been awarded a Komen Community Grant of $40,000 for 2002-03.
This grant is supported by funds raised locally at the Komen Portland Race for the Cure.
Through their grant, Nuestra Comunidad Sana will use culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach and education to increase awareness about the importance of screening and early detection of breast cancer in order to decrease the mortality rates of the disease for rural, low income, and underserved Latinas in the Mid-Columbia.
For the past two years, with the help of earlier Komen grants, Nuestra Comunidad Sana has collaborated with the Oregon Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) administered by Wasco County Health Department, La Clinica del Cario, several doctors in private practice, and Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital to increase the numbers of local Latinas obtaining clinical breast exams and mammograms.
Kathy Sauer, BCCP's coordinator, reports that the number of Latinas accessing these services has more than doubled during this period.
Nationally, Latinas develop breast cancer at a lower rate than does the general female community, but die of it at a much higher rate.
Jerry Gabay, Executive Director of Nuestra Comunidad Sana, says that "medical literature indicates this disproportionate effect is because Latinas tend to be diagnosed at a much later stage of the disease, when it is much more difficult to cure."
The Komen Community Grant funds awarded for the 2002-2003 fiscal year total over $529,000 and represent more than three times the funds granted in 2001 by the Oregon & SW Washington Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
The Affiliate established its Komen Community Grant Program in 1996 to support the mission of early detection and the goal of eradicating breast cancer as a life threatening disease.
Maria Antonia Sanchez, NCS' Health Promoter in charge of the project, intends to use the increased Komen funding to expand her outreach to men and families in the Hispanic community of the Gorge in order to make them allies in encouraging mothers and spouses to obtain testing.
"This year marked a turning point in the scope and scale of outreach and education that can be completed for underserved populations in Oregon and southwest Washington communities regarding breast health and breast cancer," commented Luci Longoria, Grants Chair and Komen Affiliate Board member. "The 14 grantees represent dynamic organizations that are pulling up their arm sleeves to spread a message of early detection."
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died of breast cancer at the age of 36.
The mission of the Komen Foundation is to eradicate breast cancer as a life threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening and treatment.