Announcing “Komen Michigan” – Michigan Affiliates of Susan G. Komen Join Forces to make A Bigger Impact in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

The new, consolidated organization includes the service areas of the affiliates formerly known as Susan G. Komen West, Southwest and Mid-Michigan.

January 14, 2015 – The Susan G. Komen affiliates of Michigan announced today the consolidation of their operations under the restructured “Susan G. Komen Michigan.”  This organization will continue to offer breast health education, screening, diagnostics and survivorship programs in the 20 counties they independently served as Komen West, Southwest and Mid-Michigan.

According to Komen staff and volunteers involved with the consolidation efforts, the goal of this collaboration is to enable greater cost-savings while maximizing grants into local health organizations and programs to help more Michiganders find breast cancer early and beat it.  Local offices will also remain open and each local Race for the Cure® will continue, in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Kalamazoo.

Jennifer Jurgens of the former Komen West Michigan has been named executive director of Komen Michigan. “This consolidation makes perfect sense to me,” she said.  “I’ve been serving as the executive director of Komen West Michigan for just over two years now, and of Komen Southwest Michigan for the last nine months, so I’ve had an insider’s look at both organizations. The efficiencies gained through shared resources made it very logical for us to approach Mid-Michigan and talk about even greater operational efficiencies, shared resources and leaner processes.”

Kristin Sauerhoff, formerly the board president for Komen Southwest Michigan and now a board member of Komen Michigan, echoed Jurgens’ comments and added: “Komen affiliates across the U.S. were started by local people who wanted to fight breast cancer in their communities.  By keeping our service areas intact and treating them like separate business units, we can continue to honor that tradition and the intent of our ‘founding mothers’ with local fundraising supporting local programs and services. Jennifer’s background in systems integration, corporate mergers and supply chain management make her uniquely qualified to manage this distinctive change in the way Komen affiliates operate and serve their communities.”

The merger required the consolidation of respective board members from all three affiliates.  Carol Perschbacher, a breast cancer survivor and Komen West Michigan board president, was selected as president of Komen Michigan.  “Everyone involved came to this decision by putting our mission and the people we serve first,” she said.  “While change can be difficult, we recognized that by letting go of our attachment to our ‘own’ affiliates we can help more people, while maintaining a sense of autonomy and keeping that local, grassroots feeling that made us so successful. Our new tagline sums it up nicely: ‘Same mission. Same places. Same races.  New name – Komen Michigan.’”

“We are already recognizing the impact of this collaboration on the bottom line” added Jim Epolito, former board president of Komen Mid-Michigan and now board member of Komen Michigan.  “It’s a very logical and strategic decision that makes us more efficient.  Businesses do it all the time.  We believe that we have the staff, the structure and the support to serve more people in our current territory and potentially expand to serve even more of Michigan.”

The offices of Susan G. Komen Michigan will be hosting open houses at each location to allow the community to come in, meet the staff and board, and learn more about the new structure.  The Southwest open house will be on January 21, the West Michigan open house will be on January 22 and the Mid-Michigan open house will be on January 27.  All open houses will be from 10 AM to 2 PM and serve coffee and light snacks.

Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties will continue to be served by the Susan G. Komen Detroit Race for the Cure, operating in conjunction with the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. Monroe County will continue to be served by the Komen Northwest Ohio Affiliate.

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 About Susan G. Komen Michigan –

Komen Michigan is an independent, local non-profit organization that is dedicated to combating breast cancer. Seventy-five percent of the organization’s net proceeds go towards programs and funding grants to local hospitals and community organizations that provide breast health education, screenings, diagnostics and survivorship programs for underserved men and women in Michigan.  The organization supports three distinct service areas:

West Michigan: Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Newaygo and Montcalm counties.
Southwest Michigan: Allegan, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren counties.
Mid-Michigan:  Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Jackson, Livingston, Shiawassee and Washtenaw counties.

The remaining 25% of net proceeds funds global, leading-edge research focused on the prevention of, and cures for, breast cancer.

Komen Michigan’s mission is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality of care for all, and energizing science to find the cures.  For more information call 616-752-8262 or visit www.komenmichigan.org.

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About Susan G. Komen: Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $800 million in research and provided more than $1.6 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/SusanGKkomen and Twitter @SusanGKomen