Grants are First in a Three-Year Partnership with the Caterpillar Foundation to Increase Screening Rates in Low Resource Countries
Panama City, Panama – August 4, 2011 – Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, today announced $250,000 in new investments over the next year in Panama to improve breast health care in the country. The grants are the first of a three-year $2 million partnership with the Caterpillar Foundation to increase breast cancer awareness and improve screening and early detection outcomes in low-resource communities in Latin America. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women in Panama.
The grants were announced this evening at a dinner in Panama City featuring Panama’s First Lady Marta de Martinelli; Ambassador Phyllis M. Powers, U.S. Ambassador to Panama; and Elizabeth Thompson, president of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; as well as other dignitaries and representatives from Caterpillar and the local grantees.
“The Caterpillar Foundation’s generous support gives us a unique opportunity to truly make a life-saving impact for thousands of women and men in Panama,” said Susan G. Komen President Elizabeth Thompson. “By sharing what we have learned over our three decades leading the breast cancer movement and investing in trusted local partners who are already doing great work, we will be able to significantly increase their reach and capacity to help women in the region.”
In keeping with Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s philosophy of building on existing infrastructure, Panama City was chosen because they already had screening services in place, and Komen has already laid the foundation to scale-up screening efforts through its community assessment and grassroots training initiatives. The grants to local NGOs Fundacian Casita de Mausi, FundAyuda and Association National Contra el Cancer, will support public education campaigns, breast self-awareness training, training for medical practitioners and infrastructure improvements, with the goal of increasing screening rates and ultimately, saving lives.
The growing demands to reduce breast cancer mortality, not only in Latin America, but all over the world, prompted Susan G. Komen for the Cure to launch the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Global Health Alliance in 2010 and the Global Initiative for Breast Cancer Awareness in 2007. At the heart of Komen’s global outreach is Course for the Cure™, a series of customized training modules that draws on nearly 30 years of experience in breast cancer awareness and advocacy. One of the key components of the Course for the Cure training program is the community assessment model, which identifies screening gaps and unmet needs within each community in an effort to better understand and define each region’s priorities and objectives for future action. These gaps guide the development of new, evidence-based community programs that improve local breast health outcomes.
"We welcome the opportunity to join forces with Susan G. Komen at the grassroots level in Panama," said Kim Hauer, Caterpillar Chief HR Officer and Vice President of the Human Services Division. "Through its Human Sustainability mission, the Caterpillar Foundation promotes access to basic human needs around the world. With Susan G. Komen we will raise the awareness of breast cancer and promote the importance of early screenings. The more people who know about breast cancer, the better the chance of early detection and treatment."
Recognizing the growing global impact of breast cancer, the shared challenges among countries worldwide, and the value of coordinated advocacy in the battle against this disease, Susan G. Komen for the Cure began exploring outreach outside the U.S. in 1999. The organization has provided more than $27 million in funding for international breast cancer research and more than $17 million for international community education and outreach programs in more than 50 countries.