In San Diego, despite having lower breast cancer incidence rates, African American women’s’ mortality rates are 41 percent higher than their counterparts. The same research indicates that African American women are often diagnosed at later stages, sometimes with more aggressive forms of cancer and at younger ages. Komen San Diego is working to change this reality. Using best practices learned through a ground-breaking Latina initiative, we are conducting intensive peer-to-peer education where these women live, work, shop, pray or play. This effort allows Komen San Diego to bring education and medical services to a community where none exists. Without it, at least 300 women would not be screened; and thousands more would not benefit from the permanent improvements to community health networks.
- Community Organization – Building partnerships and leveraging strategic relationships to address barriers by pooling resources, sharing best practices, reducing redundancies in services, and uniting partners around the project’s goals and objectives.
- Direct Education – Komen-supported community educators provide direct outreach and aid women in scheduling a mammogram appointment. These educators also provide continuous follow-up to support women through the process and increase the rate of completed mammograms.
- Screening and Navigation Services – Komen’s community organizing practices help identify available services, ensure that services meet the standard 60-day quality care benchmarks and provide supplementary grants to fill any gaps in screening. Additionally, Komen uses a grant-funded patient navigator to coordinate follow-up.
Heroes Among Us – Community Spotlight
Sheri Hendrix understands the importance of being a self-advocate. At the age of 41 she went to her doctor and asked if she should be having a mammogram and explained that her grandma and great grandma both had breast cancer. Her doctor said that it wasn’t hereditary because her mother didn’t have it. But Sheri insisted on getting her mammogram. After her first screening, she was diagnosed with Stage III or late stage breast cancer. Continue reading →