Friday, February 03, 2012

Donating to Breast Health Care and Research Alternatives to Komen

The Susan G. Komen foundation is a private organization. Let's remember that.

Nancy Brinker, founder and sister of Susan G. Komen, explains here:

Now, a revision has been made about the funding of grants to other organizations. This was released by Nancy Brinker Friday morning:

We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.

The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen. We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.

Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.

Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer. Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process. We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.

It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women. We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue. We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics – anyone’s politics.

Starting this afternoon, we will have calls with our network and key supporters to refocus our attention on our mission and get back to doing our work. We ask for the public’s understanding and patience as we gather our Komen affiliates from around the country to determine how to move forward in the best interests of the women and people we serve.

We extend our deepest thanks for the outpouring of support we have received from so many in the past few days and we sincerely hope that these changes will be welcomed by those who have expressed their concern.

The grants that were discontinued to Planned Parenthood were not new grants. They were expiring grants that were up for renewal. They were orginally not renewed, at the national level. Many local affiliates, however, were not affected by the national level decision.

I admit, I am confused by the latest statement. So, for those wishing to contribute to cancer research that is not the Susan G. Komen foundation, here are some suggestions:


It is divided into two sections: the Breast Care Center and the Breast Research Program. According to the website:
The Smith Breast Center is a major component of the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine, which brings together research, patient care, education and outreach activities from BCM and its affiliated hospitals to expedite the fight against this devastating disease.

THE ROSE is a long time provider for low income and uninsured women in the Houston area.

The Rose is the Houston area's leading 501(c)(3) non-profit breast cancer organization providing mammography screening, diagnosis, access to treatment and support to all women regardless of their ability to pay. Last year, The Rose provided 33,784 screening and diagnostic procedures for those able to pay; 19,369 screening and diagnostic procedures at no charge to low income, uninsured women; 8,857 free patient navigation services to patients without insurance.

Want to participate in a walk to raise funds for breast cancer research? Here is one: Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Activities are April 21 and 22 here in Houston.

A vibrant international city with picturesque parks and a leading medical community working to make cancer history, Houston offers a world of interesting sights. You’ll walk amidst glorious oak trees, funky antique and craft shops, designer boutiques and pictorial greenbelts while witnessing Houston's skyline, which showcases some of the best modern architecture in the country.

And, you can support Project Valet, a mobile mammography project, working partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center and others.

Project VALET offers free mammograms to women age 40 and older living in the Houston area, who don’t have health insurance or a Harris County Hospital District “Gold Card.” This project is a joint effort of MD Anderson Cancer Center, The Rose, and the Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS).

Project VALET provides mammograms by arranging for MD Anderson’s Mobile Mammography van to regularly visit several of the city’s health and multi-service centers.

These are suggestions for my local area. These are all in the greater Houston area. If you are someone who wants to support breast cancer care and research, yet don't want to be bogged down in other issues, all of these very worthy operations will gladly take your donation.

Live elsewhere? Search out programs in your area. It's easy enough to do. I did all this in just a few minutes time.

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