Three-Year Partnership Aims to Increase Screening Rates in Low-Resource Communities
DALLAS – March 9, 2011 –
Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, today announced a $2 million, three-year partnership with the Caterpillar Foundation to increase breast cancer awareness and improve screening and early detection outcomes in low-resource communities in Latin America. This is the largest gift from a single foundation ever awarded to Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the organization’s three-decade history.
The partnership will award grants to local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to establish and further develop comprehensive early detection programs with the goal of increasing breast cancer screening rates in Monterrey, Mexico; Sao Paulo, Brazil and Panama City, Panama. In keeping with Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s philosophy of building on existing infrastructure, each of these communities 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. Through local collaboration, capacity building, and the financial support provided by community grants, it is believed that infrastructures can be strengthened to dramatically impact patient outcomes. The Caterpillar Foundation partnership will span three years with two grant cycles of at least 12 months each. The first round of grant recipients will be announced this summer.
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 CureTM
, a series of customized training modules that draws on nearly 30 years of experience in breast cancer awareness and advocacy. Komen’s Global Initiative has made significant inroads in Latin American countries over the last three years by creating a dynamic network of dedicated activists with the skills, knowledge and vision to play a strategic role in shaping their countries’ response to breast cancer.
“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 communities throughout Latin America,” said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker
, founder and CEO for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “In Latin America, more than 70 percent of cancers are diagnosed when the disease is very advanced, and in most countries of the region, cancer is stigmatized and viewed as a ‘death sentence.’ The generosity of the Caterpillar Foundation is of vital importance and will help fund critical programs that will ultimately save lives.”
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.
Grants will support public awareness campaigns, breast self-awareness training, training for medical practitioners and infrastructure improvements. Additionally, Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Global Initiative staff will support sustainability by convening community roundtables to develop guidelines for effective screening policies, increase screening resources for uninsured, poor and/or rural women and by conducting training workshops in coordination with the community roundtables.
"We welcome the opportunity to join forces with Susan G. Komen at the grassroots level in Brazil, Mexico and 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.