Komen Transitions Programs Before Closing At The End Of March


As the organization closes its local office and transitions to One Komen at  the end of March, Susan G. Komen Oregon & SW Washington is contributing $200,000 in  legacy gifts and program seed funding to local breast cancer organizations. 

“Our staff has been working diligently to find homes for the programming that helps so many  people in Oregon and SW Washington. Our work will live on in these programs that will  transition to and thrive in other community organizations” says Andrew Asato, CEO.  

NAACP Portland will continue Komen’s programs focused on the Black community – the  African American Initiative, which is being developed with the intention to address breast  cancer disparities impacting the Black community, and Worship in Pink, a breast-health  education program celebrating 10 years in the local faith-based community. Sharon Gary Smith, president of the NAACP Portland 1120B Branch, stated she “welcomes the transfer of these two programs that are focused on African American/Black women and are designed to  build breast cancer knowledge and advocacy in order to decrease the negative breast cancer  outcomes that disproportionately impact Black women when compared to other women of  color and white women.” She emphasized “both the African American Breast Cancer Initiative  and Worship in Pink fit well with the NAACP’s 109-year commitment to achieving civil rights  and racial and social justice for African Americans. Elevating Black women’s health and  rooting out the racism that creates barriers in health systems improves wellness for all in our  communities.” The community is welcome to attend a virtual celebration of this transition that  is being held during NAACP Portland’s April 24th membership meeting. Information can be  found at www.pdxnaacp.org

Pink Lemonade Project will take Komen’s programs for those living with metastatic breast  cancer, as well as the Treatment Access Program, which provides gift cards for gas, lodging,  and food for those in breast cancer treatment. “Pink Lemonade Project is eager to step up to  help maintain these critical services for those affected by breast cancer,” said CEO Susan  Stearns. “Our colleagues at Komen will be missed. They have left a legacy of strong, local  programs that were developed to meet our community’s needs. We will continue the work  and raise the dollars needed to fill service gaps for the region's breast cancer population." 

Northwest Family Services has agreed to lead the Latina Council, an offshoot of Komen’s  Latina Initiative. Komen formed the Latina Council in order to facilitate communication and 

resource-sharing between local breast cancer centers and those organizations working with  Latinas in the breast health arena. Of the transition, Zuri Lopez, health navigation program  manager at Northwest Family Services, said, “[We] are committed to providing equitable  screening services for the Latinx community. Susan G. Komen Oregon & SW Washington created inroads for organizations like NWFS to continue the work around access to cancer  screening, navigation of services, and care coordination of care. We look forward to  continuing our work with the Latinx community and serving those most vulnerable through  screening, treatment, and navigation of cancer treatment.” 

Other legacy gifts have been given to Breast Friends, for their work with breast cancer  survivors and fighters, and to PeaceHealth SW to cover breast cancer screening for  individuals in SW Washington who do not otherwise qualify for state or federal funding.  Dollars restricted to breast cancer research are being forwarded to Susan G. Komen for that  purpose. 

Komen CEO Andrew Asato added, “We’re grateful for the legacy that Komen is leaving  through these programs and through our investment of $35 million in community and  research over the last 29 years. We celebrate the network of organizations that will continue  to serve those in the breast cancer continuum of care.” 

It is important to note that while the local affiliate is closing, Susan G. Komen will continue to  have a presence in the community with their national programming. They can be reached via their breast care helpline at 1-877-GO-KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) or online at komen.org.

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