Komen Philadelphia Awards Nearly A Half-Million Dollars in New Grants


Seventeen area hospitals and community organizations receive funding from the area’s leader in the fight against breast cancer to advance screening, treatment, education and support programs in 2018-2019.

 Susan G. Komen®Philadelphia recently announced the awarding of $425,000 in grants to 17 organizations to advance critical and life-saving breast cancer initiatives specifically targeting medically underserved, uninsured and/or low-income populations. While early detection and free mammograms for women in need lie at the heart of the community grants program, funding will also support a comprehensive list of services—including breast health education, awareness and other outreach, diagnostic and treatment services and navigation support—aimed at closing the gap in breast cancer disparities. The grant period runs from April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019. These recent grants bring Komen Philadelphia’s total grant distribution to $62.5 million since the community grant program started.  

“Outreach and access are key terms when it comes to the work of our grantees,” said Elaine I. Grobman, Chief Executive Officer, Komen Philadelphia. “We are making tremendous progress is this fight—in increasing the number of breast cancer survivors. But in our 15 counties alone there are tens-of-thousands of women in the shadows, held back by fear, lack of knowledge, cultural practices or the misconception that they cannot afford mammograms and breast health care. We can’t just expect these women to suddenly come forward and ask for help. Our grant program is about having forces on the ground reaching them in ways that are non-threatening and effective, giving them the access to the same quality services as everyone else, and providing the support and following-up that helps ensure lifesaving practices are followed consistently and indefinitely.”

Komen Philadelphia distributes grants to organizations that represent some of the finest healthcare, community and family service organizations from throughout the organization’s  fifteen-county service area. The grantees work with the medically underserved, including uninsured and underinsured individuals and those individuals who may not receive adequate care because of barriers such as language, cultural differences and financial ability. The grants fall into two categories— screening, diagnostic and treatment, and community navigation and education—with the outreach spanning the Komen Philadelphia service area of: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties, PA; Camden County, NJ; and Kent, New Castle and Sussex counties, DE.

“For the past two years, Komen Philadelphia has been hard at work on an aggressive goal to reduce the number of late-stage breast cancer diagnoses in our local community by 10 percent by the year 2021,” said Grobman. “This goal, advanced through the work of our own initiatives and that of our grantees, is hyper-targeted to the disparities that still exist. Right now in the U.S. African-American women are 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. Breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanic women and they are more likely to be diagnosed at later stages and with larger tumors than white women. I believe these and other disparities are the main reason the breast cancer mortality rate in our service area is 9 percent higher than the national average. Komen Philadelphia will not stand for this—it is why we are being as aggressive, if not more aggressive, as ever with our community grants program.”

Komen Philadelphia’srigorous grantee selection process assures funded programs uphold the integrity of the Komen name and meet the needs of diverse communities throughout its service area. In total, the programs funded by 2018-2019 Komen Philadelphia grants are expected to accomplish the following:

  • Screening mammograms: 1,270
  • Clinical breast exams: 168
  • Diagnostic services: 622
  • Community & patient navigation services: 1,565
  • Interpretation/translation hours: 595
  • Transportation assistance: 69
  • Temporary Gap Funding/financial assistance: 4
  • Education & outreach contacts: 3,875

A list of the new grantees, grant type and funded program for each is available here.

“I am privileged to work with our grantees almost every day, so I know how utterly devoted they are to breaking down the barriers that exist and connecting thousands of people with the services that can save their lives, as well as put them on a path of better all-around breast health,” said Jennifer Leith, Program Director, Grants & Public Policy, Komen Philadelphia. “Moreover, our grantees are experts in this. Many of them have been with Komen Philadelphia over the span of ten years, twenty years or even longer. They have seen this breast cancer movement evolve, and they have been right there with us being a driver of change. Our grantees understand there is not a one-size-fits-all formula, and that what worked a year or two ago is not necessarily the solution for right now. All of this gives us full confidence that they will carry out the mission entrusted to them and that if it means saving even just one life, they will work harder than anyone to do it.”

The 2018-2019 Komen Philadelphia Community Grant money is a result of the organization’s fund-raising efforts throughout 2017, the largest contributor being the annual Susan G. Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure.®  Komen Philadelphia is hopeful this year’s Race (Mother’s Day, May 13) will help drive even greater grant resources for the years ahead. 

“When people hear our Race can raise $2 million in a year, many think, ‘oh well that’s plenty,’ but I assure you, it only scratches the surface,” said Grobman. “The progress we’ve made in motivating women to practice early detection and prioritize their breast health over the past two decades means more women than ever are now seeking more of the services our Community Grant Program was established to deliver. Our progress means we need to keep raising more money so we can adequately serve these growing numbers.”

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