Bordered by Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, the Anza-Borrego Desert and the Laguna Mountains, San Diego County is home to nearly 1.3 million people. It's a great place to live, work and play. But just like any other major metropolitan city, it faces some tough issues— particularly in the health care arena. San Diego's proximity to the border, high cost of living and preponderance of lower-paying tourism and agricultural jobs strongly affect access to health care. In fact, more than 250,000 San Diegans don't have access to health care. Another 650,000 or more are considered "underinsured." Translation? Thousands of San Diegans do not have access to quality breast health information, services or treatment.
In 1995, a group of passionate, committed health educators and breast cancer survivors did more than just imagine. They acted by founding the San Diego Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Since its inception in 1995, Komen for the Cure San Diego has awarded grants totaling nearly $5 million to local organizations that have made valuable contributions to breast cancer diagnostics, treatment, education, screening and patient support.
2006: Record-breaking year
2006 was the best year so far for the Affiliate:
- The tenth Annual Komen Race for the Cure®on November 5, 2006, raised more than $1.1 million, a 13-percent increase over 2005. Nearly 14,000 people, including 800 breast cancer survivors, celebrated life in a morning of sunshine, song and sharing.
- Total revenue in 2006 was nearly $1.8 million, an increase of 14 percent over 2005.
- The San Diego Affiliate took a big step forward with an increase in full-time staff from 1.5 to 3. We hired our first-ever executive director!
- The Affiliate also implemented a new, comprehensive donor database and secured funding from another philanthropic organization for a new computer system and office furniture.
- Komen San Diego was also named as a San Diego Combined Health Agency Health Hero. Volunteers shine!
Our passionate volunteers are being recognized on a national level for their dedication to eradicating breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. In 2006, Komen San Diego Education Chair Mary Cruz joined Komen National's Latina Advisory Council and now is working both locally and nationally for the Cure.
Also in the national spotlight is Samm McDonald, 2007 Race for the Cure Chairperson and former President of the Board. McDonald, a breast cancer survivor, was named as an International Delegate to the Breast Cancer Summit in Budapest.
Strategy drives growth
How does the San Diego Affiliate plan to improve breast health and breast cancer programs, as well as services, over the next five years? That question was answered in a soul-searching six-month strategic planning process undertaken by Komen San Diego's Board and staff. The Affiliate now has a strategic plan with measurable goals and objectives. The community assessment is at the center of the Affiliate's strategic plan— it drives everything we do. And here is our promise:
As the numbers of uninsured and underserved continue to increase in San Diego and nationwide, Komen for the Cure in San Diego will strive to expand its grants network to continue providing for important breast health programs and services.