Komen Michigan Partners with Crystal Flash to Expand Mobile Mammography Screening to Entire Service Area

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., November 28, 2017 – Susan G. Komen Michigan (Komen MI) today announced an extension of their breast health education and screening programs for rural communities in all 24 counties the organization serves, fueled by a three-year, $75,000 commitment from Crystal Flash. This announcement builds on the Komen MI Breast Cancer Toolkit initiative, part of a national-level cancer navigation initiative to increase access to health resources for underserved populations fighting or surviving breast cancer.

A mobile mammography bus will bring healthcare screening services to rural residents who might otherwise forego them due to barriers such as location, culture, language or finances. A disparity in breast health exists among rural women in Michigan. Rural women are more likely to undergo partial or total mastectomy in lieu of breast-sparing procedures (such as radiation therapy) due to transportation barriers that may hinder screening, diagnosis and care. Transportation barriers include long travel to treatment centers and lack of public transportation options, particularly during the snowy winter months. Women who live in rural areas also report feelings of fear and overwhelm at navigating large complex medical campuses in regionally large cities such as Grand Rapids or Detroit (Source: Komen MI Community Profile Report).

The final mobile mammography date of 2017 will be at the Berrien County Health Department from 9am to 4pm on Tuesday, December 5 dates will be announced in the coming weeks. To schedule your visit, call: 877-495-2626. Next year’s dates will be announced in the coming weeks.

“All families in Michigan should be able to access the quality healthcare they deserve. We are attacking the source of these issues by targeting the barriers they face and bringing breast health services to their backyards,” said Erica Bills, Komen MI’s Executive Director. “Crystal Flash understands the needs of rural residents and is dedicated to supporting healthier communities by making it easier for people to access screenings and enter comfortably into the healthcare system.”

The partnership with Crystal Flash builds on their “Fueling the Cures” program announced last year, which brought breast health education to rural residents in Crystal Flash’s service areas. This new three- year commitment will continue to provide educational materials to rural residents, as well as mobile mammograms. New materials are planned in conjunction with the program rollout in January 2018 and will align with the Breast Cancer Toolkit. The Toolkit is available through the Michigan Public Health Institute to help incorporate breast cancer healthcare into the State of Michigan Governor’s health platform by connecting local resources to those with an immediate need.

“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.”

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.

Komen’s bold goal is to reduce breast cancer deaths by 50% by 2026. Today, 30% of those deaths could be saved if women used the resources that are available to them at this very moment. For more information about how to get help, visit www.KomenMichigan.org, call (616) 752-8262 or sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on our programs.

About Komen Michigan
Komen Michigan is committed to saving lives and reducing breast cancer mortality 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 85,000 lives in Michigan in 2015 alone. Over the last 20 years, Komen Michigan has funded $12 million in community breast health programs across 24 counties, filling the gap for much-needed services across the region. For more information, call 616-752-8262 or visit www.KomenMichigan.org.

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.

About Susan G. Komen
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization outside of the federal government, 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 $920 million in research and provided more than $2 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs. Komen has worked in more than 60 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 www.Komen.org or call 1-877-GO-KOMEN.