Position critical to saving lives of African American and
Hispanic women at highest risk of breast cancer.
West Palm Beach, Fla.– Palm Health Foundation, Palm Beach County’s community foundation for health, has provided a grant to Susan G. Komen from its Helen and Harold Bernstein Endowment Fund and Frank & Jennie M. Palen Cancer Support Fund to support a community breast health navigator position in the Glades. The foundation joins with the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties to underwrite the position focused on patient advocacy and equity through community education and by working one-on-one with women in areas of highest need to ensure they have access to timely cancer screenings, diagnoses, treatment and supportive care for breast health.
Komen’s breast health navigation program in the Glades launched in fall 2019 and since that time has reached over 1,000 people through community outreach, education sessions and navigation of individual clients. The need for the program is high given the demographic profile of the Glades communities. In the cities of Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay, Black/African American populations are the majority and Hispanic/Latino residents are 25% or more. Considering African American women in the U.S. die from breast cancer approximately 40% more than Caucasian women, and breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for all Hispanic women in the U.S., the navigator’s life-saving potential is significant.
The impact of the program and the ability to provide more equitable health care is what attracted Palm Health Foundation to the funding opportunity. “Across Palm Beach County, we see many communities where barriers such as language, personal finances and other factors prevent residents from accessing the care they need to live healthy lives,” said Patrick McNamara president and CEO of Palm Health Foundation. “When we see a program like Komen’s, that ties so many pieces of our community health resources together for the wellbeing of disadvantaged residents, we and our donors want to help make it successful.”
Client success stories demonstrate how the program is creating a continuum of care. While undergoing a mammogram and ultrasound at Lakeside Medical Center in Belle Glade, FL, doctors found that “Rosa” had breast cancer. Komen’s navigator was there to translate the news and need for immediate care. Rosa did not have any insurance, but with the navigator’s assistance, Komen funded her mammogram and diagnostic ultrasound and the navigator accompanied Rosa to apply for financial assistance with the Health Care District of Palm Beach County to cover her treatment. The navigator continued to assist Rosa and her family during her cancer journey, accessing funding for other needs through the Komen Treatment Assistance Program and making connections to additional local resources.
“Our community breast health navigators are working to bring the entire care continuum together for patients so everyone has an advocate by her side during the breast cancer journey,” said Sean Gross, state executive director, Florida for Susan G. Komen. “Building relationships with patients and their families, monitoring their care and connecting them to local resources is part of our 360-degree approach to fighting this disease head on.”
The breast health navigation program is open to all. Those needing help are encouraged to visit www.komen.org for more information and to get connected with a navigator.
For more information about working with Palm Health Foundation to guide your philanthropic giving, please contact Carrie Browne, Director of Stewardship and Strategic Partnerships at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-837-2281.
About Palm Health Foundation
Palm Health Foundation is Palm Beach County’s community foundation for health. With the support of donors and a focus on results, the foundation builds strong community partnerships, respects diverse opinions, advocates for its most vulnerable neighbors and inspires innovative solutions to lead change for better health now and for generations to come. The foundation supports health equity for Palm Beach County residents of all backgrounds, heritage, education, incomes and states of well-being. Palm Health Foundation has invested more than $83 million in Palm Beach County health since 2001. For more information about Palm Health Foundation, visit palmhealthfoundation.org or call (561) 833-6333.
About Susan G. Komen Florida
Susan G. Komen® is the world’s leading nonprofit breast cancer organization, working to save lives and end breast cancer forever. Komen has an unmatched, comprehensive 360-degree approach to fighting this disease across all fronts and supporting millions of people in the U.S. and in countries worldwide. We advocate for patients, drive research breakthroughs, improve access to high-quality care, offer direct patient support and empower people with trustworthy information. Born out of a promise between two sisters, Susan G. Komen remains committed to supporting those affected by breast cancer today, while tirelessly searching for tomorrow’s cures.
About Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties is one of Florida’s largest community foundations. The nonprofit organization manages nearly $200 million in assets as it approaches its 50-year anniversary. At its core, the Community Foundation is an organization created with gifts from generous people committed to local causes. For donors, the Foundation serves as a philanthropic advisor. For the community, the Foundation serves as a grantmaker and a civic leader. Through the support of its donors and fundholders, the Foundation has addressed some of the community’s most pressing needs, including hunger, housing and education.