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Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and KeyBank Foundation Introduce Novel Community Health Program for Underserved Women in Indianapolis
October 24th Breast Health Summit Kicks Off Community Health Advisor Training Program for Low-Income and Uninsured Women
$1 Million Grant from KeyBank Foundation Funds Breast Cancer Education and Support in 18 Communities
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – October 24, 2012 – A unique program that provides education to minority and medically underserved women launches today in Indianapolis, when KeyBank Foundation and Susan G. Komen for the Cure gather community leaders for a Breast Health Summit to begin training more than two dozen Komen Community Health Advisors for the Indianapolis area.
The Indianapolis launch is one of 18 in the U.S. Nationally, the program will train more than 500 community volunteers to provide breast cancer education and support to minority and medically underserved women in cities served by KeyBank and Komen, the world’s largest breast cancer organization. Funded by a $1 million grant from KeyBank Foundation, the program will expand to serve more than 110,000 women in 18 KeyBank communities over the next two years.
This community-based initiative, which officially kicked off in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 12, is in keeping with Komen’s focus on lowering death rates from breast cancer in minority and medically underserved populations.
“Breast cancer is diagnosed every two minutes, and a woman dies of breast cancer every 13 minutes in the United States,” said Beth E. Mooney, KeyCorp Chairman and CEO. “Its impact is especially devastating for women of color, who are more likely to die from breast cancer, and for poor or uninsured women. Our investment in this community health program reflects our corporate diversity vision and is just one way we give back to the communities where the people of Key live and work.”
The Breast Health Summit will focus on improving access to quality breast health services for uninsured, low-income and medically underserved women in the Indianapolis area. Featured panelists will include local health experts and breast cancer survivor Lisa Hayes, who is the director of the Women’s Health Initiative at the Gennesaret Free Clinic. The panel of experts includes Dr. Monet Bowling, a surgical oncologist at Indiana University Health; Antoinette Holt, the director of the Office of Minority Health at the Indiana State Department of Health; Dr. Christina Kim, a breast surgical oncologist at Community Health Network; Dr. Alfredo Lopez, a medical director at Alivio Medical Center; and Patrick Wooten, the director of Patient Navigation and Outreach Services at Wishard Health Services.
After the summit, 30 local volunteers will begin training as community health advisors who will educate women facing breast cancer.
The initiative will continue throughout 2012 and 2013 to train more than 500 advisors in 18 cities: Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo in Ohio; Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse in New York; Indianapolis; Denver; Bonita Springs, FL.; Tacoma, Bellevue and Bellingham in Washington, and Portland, OR.
“Susan G. Komen has worked for 30 years to reach the most vulnerable women in our society with information and support that could save their lives,” said Nancy G. Brinker, Komen Founder and CEO. “It’s a tragedy that still today, so many women are unaware of their risk for breast cancer and lack access to resources, treatment and care. KeyBank’s commitment to building this community initiative brings us all closer to the ultimate goal of a world without death from breast cancer.”
Minority Health Issues
In Indiana, African American women are just as likely to receive a screening mammogram as Caucasian women but are 42 percent more likely to die from breast cancer, and are more than 90 percent as likely not to have health insurance compared to Caucasians, making the challenges even greater.
Hispanics are the second largest minority group in Indiana and cancer is the second leading cause of death, accounting for 20 percent of all deaths. Hispanic females are 20 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than non-Hispanic white females who are diagnosed at the similar age and stage. Because access to health care coverage is not widely available to Hispanics, they are 90 percent less likely to see a doctor because of cost compared to the general population.
“The importance of peer-to-peer education that directs women to vital screening services is already being demonstrated here locally in Indianapolis,” said Dana Curish, executive director of the Central Indiana Affiliate. “The need for these programs is growing all across the country. The support from KeyBank Foundation is integral to show how impactful education programs can be and hopefully inspire additional like-minded initiatives targeting the most vulnerable populations who need these services the most.”