News and Information

June 10, 2011

Susan G. Komen For The Cure Supports Breast Cancer Navigator Program

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Puget Sound Affiliate, has awarded a grant totaling $123,870 to support the Franciscan Health System’s Breast Cancer Navigator Program, the Franciscan Foundation announced today.

The award-winning Breast Cancer Navigator service has been provided in partnership with the Korean Women’s Association since the program was established in 2005. It has served more than 17,000 medically underserved minority women in Pierce and south King counties who face cultural, language and socioeconomic barriers to receiving necessary health services, including screening mammograms. Many are destitute to the point of needing food, transportation, and help with purchasing medicines or meeting other basic needs.

"As a non-profit organization that is committed to creating healthier communities, Franciscan is thankful for our partners in caring that help us to fulfill our mission," said Franciscan Foundation President Jon Flora.

Early detection of breast cancer through yearly screening mammograms increases the chances that the disease can be treated successfully. Unfortunately, many women within minority populations lack access to breast-cancer screenings and treatment due to language, cultural and/or socioeconomic obstacles. The Franciscan Breast Cancer Navigator program strives to overcome these hurdles by offering culturally sensitive and language appropriate education with one-on-one personal support.

Four female navigators go into churches, private homes, businesses and other community venues to teach women about breast cancer. The navigators also help women receive recommended mammograms. Women diagnosed with the illness are offered assistance in accessing medical care and connecting with practical and emotional support for managing the disease.

"Normally, these women would never get a mammogram unless they have serious breast cancer symptoms," said Tricia Sinek, manager of the Franciscan Community Cancer Program. "At that point in the disease, their chance of surviving is much lower."

The Franciscan Breast Cancer Navigator program received a Healthcare Champion Award from the Pierce County Business Examiner newspaper in 2009.

Visit Susan G. Komen for the Cure online.

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