Grantee Spotlight: Covenant Health & ABHOP

This month, we continue to highlight the great work of our Community Grant recipients. These are the organizations who, after meeting eligibility requirements and a competitive application and review process, were awarded funds by Komen North & West Texas to provide breast health services to the women and men in our 91-county community.

Covenant Health’s Joe Arrington Cancer Research and Treatment Center

Based in Lubbock, Covenant Health’s Joe Arrington Cancer Research and Treatment Center (JACC) has provided life-saving cancer care and treatment to West Texas and East New Mexico residents since 1995. Their breast service care includes screening and diagnostic mammograms, biopsy and ultrasound services. Additionally, they are the only facility with a mobile mammography unit in the region – a key resource for women living in rural areas where traveling for their mammogram can be a transportation burden. The mobile unit is able to conduct screening mammograms within a 120 mile radius of Lubbock and includes 19 counties in the South Plains region.

Through their Komen Community Grant, JACC’s patient assistance program, Chorus of Angels, provides assistance to breast cancer patients with lodging, transportation, medication and other treatment-related needs such as wigs and durable medical equipment. For patients who need regular radiation treatment as part of their breast cancer care, it can be difficult to make the daily drive to JACC if they live 200 miles from any other  cancer treatment center. With Komen North & West Texas funding, Chorus of Angels pays for short term lodging so patients can complete their breast cancer treatment without having to worry if they can get to their next treatment appointment. Additionally, the program provides transportation support for patients who live closer to the cancer center, but still face logistical and financial challenges. Chorus of Angels coordinates transportation with public discount services, offers bus passes, taxi services or gas gift cards for patients who need to travel to JACC for treatment.

Similarly, the program ensures patients can fill their treatment prescriptions, especially if they don’t have health insurance or qualify for other prescription assistance programs through Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance. Food bank vouchers, wigs and durable medical equipment round out the services Chorus of Angels provides to patients in West Texas.

For more information, visit  www.covenanthealth.org or call 806-725-8002.

Asian Breast Health Outreach Program

The Asian Breast Health Outreach Program (ABHOP) is a unique breast health program that provides culturally and linguistically competent services to the Asian community in North Texas. Patients not only receive the highest level of breast health care with screening mammograms and diagnostic services, but are also provided with interpreters and patient advocates who speak Cantonese, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin, Urdu, Vietnamese and Spanish.

Since 2001, ABHOP has been providing services to the medically underserved population earning the trust of many diverse minority communities by delivering breast health education and mammogram assistance.  The project has certified patient navigators that provide education and guidance, who are able to communicate the message that breast cancer happens to ALL women, regardless of ethnicity. The program breaks cultural barriers by providing comprehensive and individualized customer service to all of their patients, ensuring they receive the full continuum of breast health care.

ABHOP primarily serves Asian and Hispanic/Latino patients who are non-native English speakers, new immigrants living in isolated social conditions, without extended family support and unfamiliar with the American health care system. Immigrants also face other barriers such as lack of transportation, lower levels of education and most do not have health insurance.

In order to address these barriers, ABHOP simplifies the appointment process for patients by speaking the patient’s language, scheduling follow-up appointments for patients needing additional breast procedures, coordinating transportation to/from appointments and providing individualized patient navigation throughout the entire process.  By pre-qualifying patients for free mammograms, the program also ensures patients will not receive medical bills they were unprepared for. Once at the appointment, patients receive one-on-one breast health education on the importance of early detection and are encouraged to return for their recommended breast health screening procedures.

Cancer is the leading cause of death among the Asian American community and breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for Asian American women. Programs such as ABHOP are uniquely positioned to address this cancer burden for the Asian American population with their ability to break down language, knowledge and cultural barriers, ensuring high quality breast health care for all of their patients.

For more information, visit ABHOP’s website at www.asianbreasthealth.org or call 469-204-6888.

 

Komen Scholar Spotlight

Ann Partridge, M.D., M.P.H. is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Vice Chair of Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she serves as Director of the Adult Survivorship Program and leads the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer. She is also co-Chair of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Breast Committee.

As a medical oncologist and clinical researcher, Dr. Partridge’s research focus is to improve the care and outcomes of cancer patients by understanding the psychosocial, behavioral, and communications issues in breast cancer care and treatment. She established and serves as PI for the Young Women’s Breast Cancer Study (YWS), a multi-institutional cohort of young women with breast cancer which enrolled 1300 women age 40 and younger at diagnosis. Dr. Partridge and her team have characterized a range of issues of young breast cancer survivors, including the impact of treatment on fertility, adherence with hormonal therapy, psychological adaptation to the diagnosis including impact of treatment on sexual functioning, and the factors that play an important role in patient decision-making. She has collaborated with basic investigators to identify molecular differences in tumors found in young patients and identify potential biomarkers of long-term effects. Dr. Partridge’s Komen-funded research aims to elucidate and improve the unique medical and psychosocial issues facing young women with breast cancer.