Komen Michigan Launches Statewide Program with Henry Ford Cancer Institute and the Michigan Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Navigation

First-of-its-kind Comprehensive Supportive Oncology Phoenix Initiative (SOP Initiative) Will Support Underserved Michigan Populations with Community Resources

Jackson, MI –  August 10, 2018 – – Susan G. Komen Michigan and Henry Ford Cancer Institute are partnering with the Michigan Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Navigation Program (BCCCNP), Crystal Flash, Jackson YMCA, Polly’s Country Markets, Harmony Garden Music Therapy Services, and Ann Arbor State Bank to launch a first-of-its-kind comprehensive cancer program to provide support to underserved Michigan residents.

The newly established Supportive Oncology Phoenix Initiative (SOPI) will focus on cancer detection and navigation for disadvantaged populations impacted by health inequities that exist due to social, economic, and or environmental factors, often beyond their control. The Initiative will launch in Fall 2018 in Jackson.

The initiative will open entry points into the healthcare system, connect patients to available resources, and ease issues related to awareness, education, system access, language barriers and transportation, among others. This initiative directly supports Komen’s Bold Goal of reducing breast cancer deaths by 50% by 2026, along with to the Henry Ford Cancer Institute’s mission of collaborating with community based organizations to reach the underserved.

“A third of women and men today dying from breast cancer can be saved if they are able to get connected to readily available resources,” said Erica Bills, Executive Director at Komen Michigan. “The SOP Initiative will be the first step in making this statistic disappear altogether.”

The SOP Initiative grew from the Breast Cancer Toolkit program, a partnership announced in late 2017 between multiple local agencies of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control and Navigation Program (BCCCNP) to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths by connecting resources available to patients.

“Helping women overcome barriers that prevent them from receiving cancer screening services is crucial”, said E.J. Siegl, Program Director for the MI Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Navigation Program.  “The BCCCNP is fortunate to partner with Komen Michigan to help us provide resources to women who need them most.”

Key components of the Initiative include:

  1. Connecting patients with prevention, diagnosis and treatment resources in their community. This will include widely-available community resource pathway that connects local breast cancer resources to patients with an immediate need for prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

“Henry Ford Cancer Institute has made incredible strides and published results in the patient focused breast clinical care pathway. This partnership now provides us the opportunity to tap into additional community based resources, such as financial institutions and food distributors. While these may seem like basic needs, they can challenge a patient’s overall medical care compliance and effectiveness” Karen Yacobucci, Executive Director, Henry Ford Cancer Institute West & Regional Growth

  1. Guiding patients through their cancer care journey, Patients will have access to patient navigators who will coordinate communications and planning across their care – from screening and diagnosis to treatment and survivorship support.  The SOP Initiative will fund additional healthcare professionals, to serve as Navigators to this unique population.

“The Navigator will be the direct line for patients and their families to what’s happening and what to expect, advocating for medical rights, helping with decision making related to testing, procedures and side effects, as well as connecting patients with psychological and social support resources.” Danielle Nelson Director, Supportive Oncology Services, Henry Ford Cancer Institute

  1. Serving as a national model for cancer care. The initiative will help impact the welfare of cancer patients across the state at a government-mandated level. Komen Michigan has joined forces with the Michigan Public Health Institute (policy advocates and legislative supporters) to incorporate the SOP Initiative into the State of Michigan Governor’s health platform.

“Showing that the SOP Initiative is possible and successful at a statewide level is how we make it a federal level reality,” says Sarah Hockin, Mission Director at Komen Michigan. “We began this journey last year by personal meeting with lobbyists and representatives in D.C. and we will continue to be the voice in this fight until it’s won.”

When the team was looking for their rural outreach partners, Crystal Flash, Jackson YMCA, Polly’s Country Markets, Harmony Garden Music Therapy Services, and Ann Arbor State Bank were obvious choices.  “These community based organizations understand the needs of rural residents and are dedicated to supporting healthier communities by making it easier for people to access screenings and enter comfortably into the healthcare system.” said Erica Bills, Komen MI’s Executive Director.

“We are proud to expand our support and commitment to Komen MI in general and to underserved rural populations in particular,” said Marc H. Foerster, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Crystal Flash. “Connecting these residents with necessary screenings and care will improve the health of our communities and help save lives.”

Please join us on August 18 from 4-8p at Cascade’s Park and Falls (1400 Brown Street) for the Phoenix Rising Event; a chance to meet and interact with the community partners of the Supportive Oncology Phoenix Initiative.

There will be approximately 2155 breast cancer diagnoses, 674 late stage diagnoses and 422 breast cancer deaths in the 24 counties served by Komen MI each year. With the help of Crystal Flash, other community partners and life-saving education and screenings, 130 lives can be saved this year.

Contact Komen Michigan or your local Komen Affiliate to find out how you can get involved or get access to care today. (616) 752-8262 or www.komenmichigan.org.

Contact Henry Ford Cancer Institute through Karen Yacobucci or Danielle Nelson for more information at 517-205-HFCI (4324)

# # #

About Komen Michigan

Komen Michigan is committed to saving lives and reducing breast cancer deaths in Michigan. Through targeted, culturally-relevant education programs, screenings, diagnostics, transportation, survivor support programs and events like Race for the Cure®, Komen Michigan has touched more than 69,000 lives in Michigan in 2017 alone. Over the last 20 years, Komen Michigan has funded over $12 million in community breast health programs and support across 24 counties, filling the gap for much-needed services. Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50% in the U.S. by 2026. Contact at (616) 752-8262 or www.komenmichigan.org.

About the Henry Ford Cancer Institute

The Henry Ford Cancer Institute is one of the largest cancer programs in Michigan, providing care at five hospitals and six outpatient facilities, and dozens of aligned doctor’s offices throughout southeast and southcentral Michigan. Treatment for the most complex or rare cancers and the Institute’s extensive cancer research program is anchored by Henry Ford Hospital. For more information, visit www.henryford.com/cancer.

About Crystal Flash

Crystal Flash™ is an employee-owned energy distribution company focused on commercial and residential customers throughout the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Established in 1932, Crystal Flash has grown as the demand for energy has evolved, and today concentrates on the sale and distribution of propane, diesel and other fuels. Today, the company is one of the largest independently owned energy suppliers in the state with more than 261 employees in 16 locations.  For more information, visit us online at www.CrystalFlash.com.