The Initiative is an intensive two-year effort to identify evidence-based strategies to decrease the high mortality rate of breast cancer and address breast cancer disparities at both the system and individual levels, specifically targeting African American women who are rarely or never screened, low-income, uninsured/underinsured or recipients of Medi-Cal. This state-wide initiative—the first of its kind in Susan G. Komen history—will enable Komen to coordinate and deliver the following program elements: community organizing, direct education, screening and navigation services, targeted marketing and awareness.

Breast Cancer Partner was founded in 2010 by Rhonda M. Smith who is a six-year breast cancer survivor and a business and marketing consultant. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the State-wide Initiative and play a key role in reversing the trend in the breast cancer disparities and outcome for African Americans here in California.  What we are doing in California is epic and has the potential to impact the lives of women nationally as well,” said Smith.

Breast Cancer Partner was chosen to lead this ground-breaking work for its proven track record of designing and implementing results-oriented programs.  When found in its earliest stages, breast cancer has a survival rate of nearly 98 percent. But a woman has to get a mammogram in order to catch breast cancer early. We needed a partner who shared our vision and passion for this work, with the depth and breadth of experience to ensure that we achieve the goals of the initiative and Breast Cancer Partner, led by Rhonda M. Smith, was the clear choice.