Susan G. Komen® Launches National Patient Navigation Program To Improve Breast Cancer Outcomes For Underserved Women And Men

Walgreens Customers Take Action to End Breast Cancer

 DALLAS – November 12, 2014 – In its ongoing effort to reduce breast cancer deaths by ensuring access to timely, quality breast cancer care, Susan G. Komen today announced a new nationwide program, funded by Walgreens and its customers, for patient navigation services that guide women and men through diagnosis and treatment.

The new Breast Cancer Patient Navigation Program is made possible through the allocation of nearly $2 million in funds raised by Walgreens and Walgreens customers during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October 2013. Komen estimates that the initiative will help pay for up to 12 new patient navigation programs, augmenting the 1,000 community programs currently funded through Komen’s network of 116 U.S. Affiliates. Komen is currently seeking grant applications for the program from community groups interested in applying for funds.

Patient navigators are specially trained to help patients navigate the healthcare system, from screening to diagnosis and through treatment. Navigation programs are associated with improved five-year survival rates for breast cancer patients and present an opportunity to address disparities in breast cancer survival for medically underserved women.

“One of Komen’s most important priorities is to break through economic or social barriers that prevent many women from accessing quality breast cancer care,” said Komen President and CEO Judy Salerno, M.D., M.S. “Patient navigation programs help ensure that women and men facing breast cancer, especially those with few resources, receive the support and care they need.”

“We would like to thank our customers for their contributions toward this program,” said John Gremer, director of community affairs for Walgreens. “Walgreens is proud to support organizations that help provide access to programs that promote health and wellness.”

In just the first two weeks of October this year, Walgreens customers throughout the U.S. and in Puerto Rico raised $3.5 million. Over four years, the Walgreens program has raised more than $19 million.

These funds have supported, and will continue to support, essential breast cancer services such as:

  • Funding for more than 15,000 mammograms for uninsured or underinsured individuals and education in 2013, along with patient navigation services for another 222,000 people.
  • Expansion of Komen’s National Breast Care Helpline (1-877 GO KOMEN), which provides free, professional support services to anyone with breast cancer questions or concerns, and is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET.
  • Funding for Komen’s National Treatment Assistance Program which helps cover expenses such as pain and anti-nausea medication, oral anti-cancer drugs, childcare, transportation, wigs and more. Read more about this program.
  • Grants for community outreach, education and patient support programs in the Washington, D.C. area, where breast cancer incidence and mortality rates are among the highest in the nation, and throughout Komen’s Affiliate network.

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