Sponsored Content: Look for daily Think Pink features on gazette.com during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Every year, the Komen Southeastern Colorado (SECO) Affiliate distributes 75-percent of its net proceeds from fundraising to non-profit organizations that provide education, breast health and breast cancer screening, and treatment support to the medically uninsured, underinsured or at-risk populations within its 13-county service area.
“Since the first Race, the SECO Affiliate has raised more than $8 million through fundraising, donations and special events, with more than $6.6 million dollars in grant awards being distributed to the local community” said Nancetta Westcott, Executive Director of the Komen Southeastern Colorado affiliate.
The remaining 25-percent, or $2 million, is allotted to supporting breast cancer research through the national Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization.
As part of this, an assessment process known as the Community Profile is completed every two years. Along with ensuring the work of the Affiliate is collaborative, targeted and non-duplicative, it serves as a guide to the grant-making process. The Community Profile identifies the underserved areas and helps direct funding priorities.
From its most recent data, the SECO affiliate has found that, with the exception of three counties, there has been improvement in the early diagnosis rates for most of the area. Unfortunately, the data also indicates there are also some gaps in service.
“Access to and use of screening mammograms continues to be a significant need,” said Westcott. “Diagnostics and treatment are available in the service area, but financial issues, travel difficulty, and accessing care outside an individual’s community contribute to an overall need for developing support systems.”
For example, radiation therapy could require delivery five days a week for a period of four to six weeks. That involves travel, lodging, missed work and other complications for those within particular service areas.
Based on their findings, Southeastern Colorado Affiliate has identified the following funding priority areas:
Screening programs - diagnostic exams for high-risk women ineligible for WWC Screening programs in rural communities with above average rates of later-stage diagnosis. Raise awareness of genetic and behavioral risk factors for breast cancer.
2. Treatment Support
3. Patient Navigation
Patient navigation programs to improve the time from diagnosis to treatment and enhance survivorship. Programs to support culturally isolated women with breast cancer.
To learn more about the Community Profile and funding priorities for Komen Southeastern Colorado visit their webpage www.komensecolorado.org, or call 719.632.8887.