After successfully managing the Komen New Jersey Race for the Cure® in Princeton for eleven years, Race founders took a logical step in January 2004 and formed the Komen Central and South Jersey Affiliate. Since 1994, the only Komen Race for the Cure® in New Jersey has granted to hospitals and nonprofits to fund education, screening and treatment for the medically underserved.
However, breast cancer statistics in the state demanded more. "Establishing an Affiliate was a critical maneuver," admits Peter Tilles, President, Board of Directors. "We knew a recognized Affiliate would advance fundraising opportunities." To bolster fundraising potential, the Board narrowed its vision to concentrate on reducing late-stage diagnoses.
Affiliate Service Area
The Affiliate oversees a diverse service area comprised of 13 counties that cover more than two-thirds of the state. The region ranges from densely-populated urban centers, such as Atlantic City, to large, wealthy, suburban communities and under-developed rural counties. Within this area, 4.4 million people live. More than one-half (2.36 million) of the residents are women, and 1.15 million of these women are over age 40.
Demographic profiles vary widely. For example, 53 percent of the residents of Camden City are African American, while just 60 miles north in Hunterdon County, 93 percent of the residents are Caucasian. As for medically underserved adults, 493,859 uninsured adults call this region home.
The Affiliate's challenges are many. "Not only do we address complex ethnic and minority issues in our service area," Executive Director Nancy Healey says, "but we also confront alarming incidence and mortality rates." In 2000, New Jersey had the fourth highest incidence rate of breast cancer in the United States, with approximately one-third of all diagnoses falling into late stage. "Every year in our service area we average approximately 3,450 newly diagnosed breast cancers," Nancy says. "Annually, 880 residents die from the disease."
As an official Foundation entity, the Central and South Jersey Affiliate focuses on ways to address its unique challenges. An ambitious educational outreach campaign is being designed, the grant process has been streamlined, and RFP revisions continue. In January, the Affiliate conducted a grant writing seminar that will be recognized at the Mission Conference in June as an education outreach honor roll winner.
According to Peter, "[The Affiliate] will make the most impact by funding aggressive education and screening programs that target the underserved. We want to enable a meaningful reduction in late-stage diagnoses."
In 2006, the Central and South Jersey Affiliate funded 26 grants in all 13 counties. If each program performs as proposed, 25,286 women receive breast health education and breast cancer screening during this granting cycle.
AlantiCare Regional Medical Center
Bat Ami Chapter of Hadassah
Boat People SOS
Breast Cancer Resource Center
Capital Health Systems
Community Medical Center
Cooper University Hospital
Epsilon Upsilon Omega Educational Foundation, Inc.
Fox Chase Virtua Health Cancer Program
Gilda's Club South Jersey
Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center
JFK Medical Center
Lourdes Health System
Planned Parenthood of Mercer County
Raritan Bay Medical Center
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
Saint Peter's University Hospital
Sisters Network of Central New Jersey
South Jersey Family Medical Centers, Inc.
South Jersey Hospital
St. Francis Medical Center
University Medical Center at Princeton
Women's Health & Counseling Center