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Novant Health medical centers in Mecklenburg County receive grants from Susan G. Komen Charlotte for breast health services

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation has been awarded $239,921 in grants from Susan G. Komen Charlotte (Komen Charlotte). Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center received a $119,972 grant and Novant Health Huntersville, Matthews and Mint Hill Medical Centers received a joint $119,949 award. These grants will be used to fund screening and diagnostic services for under/uninsured and minority populations in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties.

“Susan G. Komen Charlotte is thrilled to partner with Novant Health in a continued effort to improve the lives of those facing breast cancer in our community,” said Stamie Despo, Komen Charlotte executive director. “We are passionate about our long-term partnership to close gaps in health disparities, provide access to quality care and educate our community about breast health. Our mission is to save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our community, and we believe this partnership is key to our success.”

“We are so grateful to Susan G. Komen Charlotte for their ongoing support and partnership,” said Barbara LiPira, RN and senior director of Novant Health Cancer Institute. “Funding from Komen Charlotte is a great help to individuals in our underserved communities. Without Komen Charlotte support, many of our uninsured patients could not afford the preventive services they need.”

Under/uninsured and minority populations in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties encounter many obstacles to breast care including transportation, language and financial barriers. Novant Health Cancer Prevention, Education and Early Detection (NHCPED) staff, led by Maria Kuklinski-Long, collaborates with community health clinics and houses of worship to deliver no-cost screenings and bilingual education on two mobile units, and refers individuals in need of diagnostic services to conveniently located imaging centers.

Komen funding will provide clinical breast examinations, 3D mammograms, breast health education, diagnostic mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsies and patient navigation. Staff targets low-income, under/uninsured and minority populations for grant-funded services in an effort to improve access to care and reduce breast cancer mortality in Mecklenburg and surrounding communities.

Ongoing Komen Charlotte grant support has enabled NHCPED team members to provide 2,580 uninsured individuals with one-on-one, evidence-based breast health education and screening mammography and 2,864 diagnostic services since 2012. Komen Charlotte has been a Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation funding partner since 1999.

“This long-term funding has made a tremendous impact in helping to reduce late-stage breast cancer diagnoses in our community,” said Kuklinski-Long. Komen funding has enabled staff to diagnose 94 women with breast cancer during that time. “These women likely would have waited to obtain screening or diagnostic services, prioritizing housing or family expenses ahead of preventive care, possibly resulting in later-stage diagnoses. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the survival rate is among these women.”

For more information about Novant Health cancer prevention and early detection programs, visit www.novanthealth.org/presbyterian-medical-center/services/cancer/prevention-and-early-detection

Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2019