Nuestra Comunidad wins Susan G. Komen cancer grant

May 25, 2005

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Affiliate of Oregon and SW Washington announced Monday that Nuestra Comunidad Sana (The Next Door, Inc) in Hood River has been awarded a $38,800 Komen Community Grant. The community-based program is one of the 14 selected this year to receive funding.

The medical center’s challenge is to advance the local fight against breast cancer remains as great today as ever. “One in seven women will be diagnosed in her lifetimes,” said Christine McDonald, executive director of the local Komen Foundation. “The community-based grants we fund make it possible for all people to connect with life-saving breast health services and much needed support.”

Through its Komen Community Grant, Nuestra Comunidad Sana will use its Mensajeras de Esperanza (Messengers of Hope) program to eliminate breast cancer as a cause of death in the medically underserved, low-income Latina community of the Mid-Columbia area . Local promotoras working through the program will be reaching out to the Latinas in the area in their homes and places of work and worship to teach that breast cancer can be survived if detected in time. Added emphasis will be given to promoting free clinical exams and mammograms.

Outreach efforts will also be initiated to engage men in actively supporting their loved ones to get regularly screened for breast cancer. Survivor support groups will also be coordinated through the program.

“Nuestra Comunidad Sana is very pleased to receive a grant from the local Komen Foundation this year to expand our outreach work in educating Hispanic women of the Mid-Columbia. We expect to reach over 2,000 individuals, as well as about 1,200 men and women through our home and orchard and packing house visits,” said Janet Hamada, with Nuestra Comunidad Sana. “This health promotion work is essential to saving lives, and we’re grateful to the local Komen Foundation for their support.”

The Komen Community Grants are made possible by funds raised locally through the annual Komen Portland Race for the Cure and other area fundraisers.

“Local support is truly making a difference in eradicating breast cancer as a life-threatening disease,” said McDonald.

“We’re seeing more survivors today than ever before. While that’s a victory in itself, Oregon and SW Washington have some of the highest breast cancer rates in the county. There are a lot more women and men who still need to know the facts about breast cancer to protect themselves.”

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