The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program awarded a $50,000 one-year grant to Christiana Care Health System to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer. It is the 12th year that the program has received funding from the Avon Foundation for Women to support its work on this important health issue, and in recognition of the program’s excellence.
Helping Hands for Breast Health at Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center will educate women in New Castle County and refer them to low-cost or free mammograms and clinical breast exams in their own communities. An Avon breast outreach coordinator will enroll the women into the annual reminder system and help them eliminate barriers to completing a breast screening as well as assist with finding transportation or financial resources through state and local funds to pay for services. The program also will collaborate with local Avon representatives through the Pink Tool Kit project. Additionally, the outreach coordinator has worked with Deb Wilson, local district manager, to educate local Avon representatives about breast health and encourage them to provide information to their clients.
Since January 2002 the Helping Hands for Breast Health Program at Christiana Care has educated more than 8,000 women about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. In 2012, 700 women were referred for mammograms and clinical breast exams.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the United States and the leading single cause of death overall in women between the ages of 40 and 55. According to the American Cancer Society, 770 new cases of breast cancer will be detected in Delaware this year, and 120 lives will be lost. Nationwide, there is a new diagnosis every three minutes and a death from breast cancer every 14 minutes. While advances have been made in prevention, diagnosis and treatment, early detection still affords the best opportunity for successful treatment. Programs such as Helping Hands help ensure that all women, even poor and medically underserved, have access to early detection information and options,
“We are proud that the Avon Foundation for Women shares our mission and has chosen to support our program again this year,” said Nora C. Katurakes, manager of the Community Health Outreach Program for Christiana Care. “With these funds we will be able to continue our partnerships with the Avon representatives, assist women through the work of our outreach coordinator and staff and continue our reminder system. All of these components of the program make a difference to change women’s behavior and incorporate breast health in their lives.”
Since 1993, the Avon Foundation has awarded 1,550 grants to community-based breast health programs across the United States, including Avon Helping Hands for Breast Heath at Christiana Care. These programs are dedicated to educating underserved women about breast cancer and linking them to early detection screening services.