Komen Transitions Programs Before Closing At The End Of March
SUSAN G. KOMEN OREGON & SW WASHINGTON TRANSITIONS PROGRAMS AS IT SETS TO CLOSE 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.