Grantee Spotlight: Bridge Breast Network and Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation

Meet Our Grantees

This month, we are excited to begin a monthly series that will feature all of the grantees from the newly merged service area.  We will highlight each program and showcase their dedication to fighting breast cancer throughout North Texas and the panhandle.

If you’d like to learn more about our grants process, you can do so here.

The Bridge Breast Network

The Bridge Breast Network was established in 1992 when a group of breast cancer survivors met in the office of Dr. Sally Knox, a breast specialist at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.  Dr. Knox and other physicians often donated their services to patients who lacked the resources and insurance coverage for breast cancer treatment, and the survivors decided to fundraise and help pay for medical expenses, such as facility use and labs.

The Bridge services uninsured and underinsured women in 28 North Texas counties, providing screening, diagnostic and breast cancer treatment services.  They offer early detection services such as mammograms, sonograms and biopsies.  If patients need treatment, they assist with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation services.  Survivors can find free breast prostheses, mastectomy bras, wigs and compression garments.  They can also provide referrals for dental oncology, exercise programs, nutrition information, mental health resources and support groups.

The Bridge is also involved in advocacy on a State and Federal level, often providing testimony, supporting breast health policies and partnering with Komen North & West Texas in our public policy efforts.  Additionally, they have been integral partners in the Worship in Pink Ambassador Training program, which is a collaborative effort of the three DFW Metroplex Komen Affiliates (Dallas County, Greater Fort Worth and North & West Texas) and other community based organizations, such as Making Chemo Bearable and the South Dallas Business & Professional Women’s group.  The goal of the Ambassador program is to integrate early detection and prevention for breast cancer and other chronic health issues that disproportionately affect the African American community in North Texas.

In the past decade, The Bridge has served more than 150,000 North Texas women and connected more than 19,000 with breast health medical treatment. To qualify for services, the following eligibility requirements must be met during the application process:

  • Must have a breast health concern
  • Must be low income
  • Must have income equal or less than 250% above Federal Poverty Guidelines
  • Must be uninsured or underinsured, with proper documentation
  • Must live in and be a resident of North Texas in counties where funding and providers are available
  • Cancer must be stage 3 or less and no distant metastasis

With their current grant from Komen North & West Texas, The Bridge provides breast health education, screening, diagnostics, treatment and patient navigation services in Collin, Cooke Denton, Fannin, Grayson and Hunt Counties.

You can call The Bridge at 214-821-3820 for more information or visit their website at www.bridgebreast.org.

Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation

The Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation (HCHF) is a community foundation focusing on cancer care and community health.  Based in Amarillo and founded in 2013, the foundation continues the vision of Mrs. Sybil Harrington by focusing its efforts on prevention, early detection, patient support, survivorship, research, and financial assistance.  HCHF does this by collaborating with numerous community organizations and providing community and patient grants during the year.  In addition, HCHF funds and operates the only cancer survivorship center in the Amarillo area which is free for patients to access during and after their cancer treatment.

With their current grant from Komen North & West Texas, Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation provides funding for mammography at the Harrington Breast Center, as well as on their mobile mammography unit that covers 26 counties throughout the Texas Panhandle.  If patients need diagnostic breast services such as diagnostic mammograms, ultrasound or biopsies, the nurse navigators can help link patients to these services and guide them to the next steps of their breast health care with patient navigation services.  Through a partnership with ChemoCars, patients have access to free transportation to non-surgical oncology appointments.  To book a ride, patients can call 704-981-2010.

HCHF provides financial assistance to eligible patients who are currently in active treatment.  In order to be eligible, patents, must have a cancer diagnosis by an oncology health provider and receiving treatment in the Amarillo service area. Cancer patients can apply for assistance in the following areas:

  • Utilities (gas, electric, water bills)
  • Mortgage/rent
  • COBRA insurance payments
  • Gas for traveling to/from appointments
  • Lodging
  • Prescription co-pays

Once cancer treatment is complete, patients are invited to meet with the Oncology Certified Nurse at the survivorship center to develop their survivorship care plan and treatment summary.

 

Scholar Spotlight

This month’s Scholar Spotlight features a new Komen Scholar: Marian Johnson-Thompson, Ph.D.  Dr. Johnson-Thompson is Professor Emerita of Biology and Environmental Sciences at University of the District of Columbia (UDC).  While she is a new member of the Komen Scholars, she has served as a Komen Advocate in Science since 2010.

Dr. Johnson-Thompson was at the University of the District of Columbia for 23 years and was also an Adjunct Professor, Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  A cancer researcher, microbiologist and educator, Dr. Johnson-Thompson began her career at UDC and later joined the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), an institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she retired after 16 years as Director of Education and Biomedical Research Development.  A long-time advocate for health equity, she is frequently invited to address issues of science equity, health disparities and environmental justice, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and mentoring issues and human subjects protection.

An avid Komen supporter, she has participated in many Komen national and local programs and events, and she has been part of the Komen’s Advocate Advisory Task Force since 2014.  Dr. Johnson-Thompson’s role as a mentor has been recognized by many awards.  In 2009, she even received the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from Howard and is featured as a Science History Maker, an online repository of outstanding African American contributors, housed at the Library of Congress.  This year, she was the subject of an entire chapter in “Women in Microbiology,” where the author wrote that Dr. Johnson-Thompson’s “life’s work has directly and indirectly led to the production of female scientists in academia, industry, and government, and her contribution to the pipeline continues to grow exponentially.”