2015-16 Community Health Programs Announced

The Greater Cincinnati Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® is pleased to announce our 2015-16 Community Health Programs. This year, with the assistance of generous donations from the community, the Affiliate was able to award over $366,170.00 dollars to breast health programs in the Greater Cincinnati area. These important safety net, navigation, and emergency assistance programs target women in our community. Additionally, $150,000.00 was awarded to Sponsored Research of Joan Garrett, PhD at the University of Cincinnati for a total local investment of over $516,170.00!

Community Safety Net Programs:

Adams County Regional Medical Center – Adams County Regional Medical Center (ACRMC) helps alleviate the costs of diagnostic services and co-pays for breast health services in the Adams, Brown, and Highland County area. Women who qualify under specific financial criteria set by the provider who are also in need of additional care beyond a screening mammography will be able to access these services provided by ACRMC.

Center for Appalachia Research in Cancer Education (CARE) – CARE’s Project Hoffnung (Hope) was developed to meet two goals: to provide education about breast health, and to link women with breast cancer screening services. This program strives to continue established community-based screening and education programs in Adams, Highland, and Switzerland Counties for Amish and Mennonite women. The proposed program uses the foundation of trust we currently have established over 14 years within the communities and combines a sound process and impact evaluation plan with strong community-based partnerships from the Amish and Mennonite settlements. This initiative represents an ideal collaboration between agency-based and community-led organizations in order to maximize resources and disseminate breast health services more widely in this underserved community.

Dearborn County Hospital – The DCH Safety Net Program will provide diagnostic procedures (mammography, ultrasound, and biopsy) and surgical consults for medically appropriate clients with no insurance, high deductible/high co-pay insurance or those who fall in the gap between Medicaid/HIP and the Marketplace, especially those in rural areas including Ohio and Switzerland Counties. Also, to provide a very limited number of screening mammograms for these individuals, especially those not eligible for an Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust screening due to residency /lack of availability. Having this funding available will allow patients to pursue/receive needed care in a timely manner providing for the best possible clinical outcomes. Clients with an abnormal screening mammogram/documented breast abnormality will work with the Nurse Navigator to coordinate timely advanced diagnostics including as appropriate, surgical consults and biopsies. Clients diagnosed with a cancer/breast abnormality will continue to work with the Navigator for coordination of treatment and follow-up. Clients will also be referred to the DCH Certified State Navigator/ Social Worker for help in applying for assistance/insurance. The project will be evaluated by the number of clients served by each modality and the number of breast cancers detected. Low income/at risk clients will be more likely to receive needed diagnostics and/or treatment on a timely basis, without nonmedical delays, allowing for the best possible clinical outcomes.

Mercy Health-Anderson – The purpose of this Safety Net Project is to provide diagnostic breast health services for women with financial need who do not qualify for other assistance programs. The program provides a ―safety net for low and moderate income newly-screened women in order to remove the financial barrier that keeps them from seeking follow-up and/or treatment. A nurse navigator will promote the program among referring organizations and help women receive timely follow-up procedures such as diagnostic mammograms and ultrasounds. The likely impact will be timely scheduling of follow-up procedures and an increased number of early stage diagnosed cancers in a timely fashion. There is no comparable program for women who are underinsured or whose income is up to 300% of the poverty guidelines.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare – St. Elizabeth Healthcare helps alleviate the costs of service for women who do not qualify for insurance plans to cover screening mammography and diagnostic services primarily in the Northern Kentucky area. Women who qualify under specific financial criteria set by the provider who are also in need of additional care beyond a screening mammography will be able to access these services provided by St. Elizabeth Healthcare. In addition to five counties in Northern Kentucky, the program will be able to assist in some specific services in Dearborn, Ohio and Switzerland counties in southeastern Indiana.

YWCA of Greater Cincinnati – The YWCA’s Hispanic and Minority Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP) markets, implements, and provides mammograms for women in these underserved communities. The Hispanic and Minority BHOP provide education and on-site registration for women in the Greater Cincinnati area. The Hispanic and Minority BHOP coordinate and promote with local mammography providers sites specifically targeted to ethnic minority women. The Hispanic and Minority BHOP also assist minority women with financial questions, as well as guidance on the entire process.   Women in need of financial assistance will be enrolled in funding programs. Further, the YWCA Hispanic and Minority BHOP provide educational outreach in the community.

Patient Assistance Programs and Support Resources

Cancer Family Care – Our Center for Individual & Family Counseling (I&F) provides services to women with breast cancer, the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. I&F help breast cancer patients and their families cope with the overwhelming psychosocial distress, anxiety, and depression associated with a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Key activities include providing in-person counseling as well as Coping Connections telephone hotline support to breast cancer patients and their loved ones regardless of socioeconomic status (participants pay on a sliding scale); those unable to afford services receive them at no charge). These programs are evaluated regularly using process and impact evaluation measures to ensure delivery methods are working. Studies conducted by leading oncologists and medical organizations have shown that programs like I&F that help cancer patients deal with the psychosocial effects brought on by cancer decrease stress and boost the immune system, which can have beneficial impacts on recovery. On average, 85% of I&F participants note an improvement in their ability to manage and cope with their cancer regardless of the course of the disease (this is meaningful because patients do experience setbacks during participation). When cancer patients improve their ability to cope, they feel less stressed and more energized, and far more likely to follow their course of treatment. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

Cancer Support Community – The goal of Community of Hope is to connect, support and empower women throughout the stages of breast cancer – in order to improve quality of life and enhance the recovery process. Backed by evidence that the best cancer care includes social and emotional support; Cancer Support Community is advancing innovations that are becoming the standard in complete integrated cancer care. The program’s activities include one weekly support group for women with breast cancer (Stages 1, 2, 3), the Breast Cancer Survivors and FORCE networking groups, the Young Survival Coalition, a Breast Cancer Post-treatment group and YCat yoga. These groups provide support and education to women throughout the stages of their breast cancer journey, and bring together women with similar needs and concerns. We anticipate that Community of Hope will serve approximately 145 women in the Greater Cincinnati region. All programming at CSC is continually evaluated to ensure participant satisfaction and best use of resources. Program enrollment, retention and attendance are tracked; and impact evaluations are completed by all participants during and after program involvement. The history of our breast cancer programming indicates that participants will experience increased feelings of hope, lowered depression and will feel a connection to other women in similar situations.

Navigation Services:

Dearborn County Hospital – The Nurse Navigator/FNP is essential for the provision of comprehensive coordination of care encompassing advanced diagnostic, treatment and/or reconstructive procedures for clients with an abnormal screening or abnormal screening/diagnostic mammograms. The Navigator/FNP also provides education, reference and support for clients, families and the public. Special emphasis is placed on assisting underserved women.

The Nurse Navigator/FNP will ensure that clients receive timely and appropriate advanced clinical care, related follow-up and social services to help facilitate the best possible patient outcomes.

 Emergency Aid Program: Breast Cancer Patient Financial Assistance

Cancer Family Care – These supplemental dollars for women undergoing treatment for breast cancer expands the financial assistance and service offerings. Women with an established financial need may contact Cancer Family Care to access these one-time only dollars to assists in identified expenses unrelated to treatment, but critical in the overall rehabilitative care of women with a diagnosis. Women in the Affiliate’s 21-county service area may be eligible for these dollars.

 

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Advocacy Summit 2015

The Advocacy Alliance of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® uses the power of activism to achieve important legislative objectives at federal, state and local levels.  Three women from the Greater Cincinnati Affiliate put that activism into practice as they joined Komen Advocates from all over the country to spend the day on Capitol Hill lobbying their legislators.

On April 16, 2015, Peggy Isenogle, Executive Director, and Melissa Traylor, Affiliate & Finance Manager, of the Komen Greater Cincinnati Affiliate, along with volunteer advocate, Donna Traylor, spent the day on Capitol Hill lobbying legislators that serve the regions covered by the Cincinnati Affiliate.  This includes districts in the Greater Cincinnati, Greater Dayton, Southeastern Indiana, and Northern Kentucky areas.

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Peggy, Melissa and Donna with Ohio Senator Rob Portman

Current economic conditions place unprecedented strains on federal and state budgets. Susan G. Komen® is committed to empowering people, ensuring quality of care for all and energizing science to find the cure. We called on lawmakers to join us in committing to improving access to lifesaving services and removing insurance barriers to cancer treatments.

The first issue we advocated for was preserving women’s access to breast cancer screening by funding the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) at $275 million in the FY16 budget. The President’s proposed budget includes a 20% reduction for the NBCCEDP bringing funding for FY16 to $148 million. We asked our legislators to support the funding at $275 million so that the NBCCEDP will be able to screen half a million women for breast and cervical cancer. The NBCCEDP provides potentially life-saving breast cancer screening and diagnostic services to low-income, uninsured and underinsured women who do not qualify for Medicaid. Ensuring adequate funding to vital safety-net programs like the NBCCEDP is key to ensuring all women have access to vital screening services.

The second issue we were advocating for was to ensure breast cancer patients can access the treatments they need by supporting legislation that eliminates the disparity in coverage between oral and IV anti-cancer medications. Patients should not be forced to chose a less appropriate treatment option simply because an insurer provides less coverage for a cancer drug that happens to be administered by mouth rather than intravenously. Patients and their physicians should be free to make treatment decisions based on what is best for that patient. Ohio passed this oral parity legislation in June of 2014, and both Kentucky and Indiana have also passed oral parity legislation. We were able to thank our legislators for passing the legislation in those 3 states, but also inform them that a Federal Oral Parity law is important to pass due to state legislation not covering all health insurance plans which leaves a significant number of patients without access to affordable treatment.

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Melissa and Peggy with Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly

Peggy, Melissa and Donna were able to meet with several key staff members of the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana Senate, along with staff from the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana House of Representatives. Everyone was very interested in what we had to say and very supportive of our cause. Many of the staff members have been touched by breast cancer in some way. It was great to be able to connect on a personal level with so many individuals.

All in all, Advocacy Day 2015 was a huge success! We made a lot of connections and will certainly be following up with and building relationships with our lawmakers.

Check a Box, Save a Life

You have the power to save a life, by simply checking a box on your 2014 Ohio state tax return.

The Ohio Affiliates of Susan G. Komen® were proud to support HB 112, recently signed into law, which will allow Ohio taxpayers to contribute a portion of their state tax refund directly to the Ohio Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP). Ohio’s BCCP, funded at the current levels, is only able to serve about five percent of the eligible women in Ohio. The BCCP Tax Check-Off will enable the program to serve up to 1,700 additional women (approximately an 11 percent increase) with life saving and cost saving access to early detection, diagnostics, and treatment.

Tax Check-Off Legislation

  • To ensure low-income, uninsured Ohio women have access to the BCCP’s life-saving services, the tax check-off will allow Ohioans to voluntarily contribute any portion of their eligible state tax refund directly to the BCCP to support breast cancer screenings across the state.
  • With maximum support, the tax check-off could allow as many as 1,700 additional women, an increase of almost 11 percent, to receive screening through the BCCP.
  • The Ohio Affiliates of Susan G. Komen will launch a social media campaign to activate our supporters and the general public to participate in the tax check-off. We will share pieces of this campaign with you to share with your constituents.
  • For the 2014 tax year, the State of Ohio has pledged to match all BCCP tax check-off contributions three-to-one, increasing the potential impact by 75 percent.

Ohio’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP)

  • Ohio’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP) provides breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to women in Ohio who do not qualify for Medicaid and have annual incomes at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • If a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer through the program, she is eligible for treatment for her cancer through BCCP Medicaid, which she may not have been eligible for based on her income. This is a critical and life saving safety net for the working poor in our state. In Ohio, these are the same women who make too much to be Medicaid eligible and too little to qualify for stipends on the state insurance exchange.
  • BCCP provided screenings to 15,000 Ohio women last year and diagnosed more than 200 cancers.
  • State funding to BCCP was reduced from $5 million in general revenue funds in FY08/09 to only $1.6 million in FY12/13 – a cut of almost 70 percent. State funding has remained level in current years.
  • At current funding levels, the BCCP can serve only six percent of the more than 270,000 eligible women in Ohio.

Breast Cancer in Ohio

  • In 2013, 9,060 Ohio women were diagnosed with breast cancer and nearly 1,720 died of the disease.
  • Ohio is 32nd in the nation in incidence of breast cancer but ranks 4th in mortality.
  • Early detection is a key to survival. When breast cancer is detected early, before it spreads beyond the breast, the 5-year survival rate is 98 percent. Once the cancer cells spread to other parts of the body, survival rates plummet to 23 percent.
  • Early detection saves Ohio money. When breast cancer is detected at later stages, treatment is up to 3 times more expensive than when it is detected early.

Print and share this BCCP Flyer.

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2011 Komen Leadership Conference

The Greater Cincinnati Affiliate was proud to be a part of the 2011 Susan G. Komen for the Cure Leadership Conference. Over 1,000 advocates, Affiliate representatives, partners, and volunteers convened in Ft. Worth, Texas over March 24-27, 2011. Supporters came not only from around the nation, but from around the world.

Attendees heard from many of the leaders, active in the fight against breast cancer. Local affiliates from North Carolina and Oklahoma presented on their recent success in increasing their local budgets, which increased their abilities to extend their mission and support activities. A professor of Surgical Oncology, Dr. Mohamed Shalaan of Cairo, Egypt shared how the Race for the Cure has created more awareness than ever, in a culture that has kept the terrible disease concealed behind closed doors.  Attendees also heard from a panel of Komen Scholars- professors and scientists involved in ground breaking research. The Komen Scholars provided updates on targeted personal therapies, specifically in the fields of surgical treatment options and prevention methods based on genetic susceptibility. There were also representatives from the Komen Advocacy Alliance sharing tips and strategies for pursuing public policy and quality care in these tough economic times.

The Komen Leadership Conference highlighted the best-in class abilities that are only possible with the support and passion of our local communities. All of the components in the fight against this terrible disease were possible because of the local outreach and commitment to finding the cure- from fundraising with the Race for the Cure, to reaching women in rural communities where resources are scarce, to the initiatives taken by the Italian Affiliate of Komen to extend Komen’s global reach. In gathering and sharing these stories and experiences- it is with the hope that we may all learn from each other- to encourage and motivate one another, to further inspire the breast cancer movement.

Komen Greater Cincinnati representatives at the 2011 Leadership Conference.
Gene Barbor (Board Member), Hanna VanKuiken (staff), Amy Weber (staff), Peggy Isenogle (Executive Director, staff), Angela Norman (Board Member),
Karyn Ganaway-Balog (Board Member).

Click here for more photos and video from the conference.