Susan G. Komen® Michigan announces federal and statewide launch of a cancer navigation program, with focus on health equity and survivorship

Komen Michigan today announced a partnership with multiple local agencies of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control and Navigation Program (BCCNP) as part of a national-level cancer navigation initiative to increase access to resources for underserved populations fighting or surviving breast cancer.

The Breast Cancer Toolkit© (BCT) received seed money in October of 2017 from a Jackson, Michigan foundation to expand its impact. With this support, Komen Michigan will now have a greater reach across the state to help address access to healthcare and overcome the barriers that disconnect individuals from their local resources. Often, it is simply the lack of awareness of programs and/or the inability to attend or afford them that inhibits quality healthcare. This toolkit is just what its name suggests: a tool for those in need to find and access the healthcare they need and deserve.

This comprehensive patient navigation program is working towards the goal of saving lives and improving healthcare outcomes for those impacted by social determinants such as language, gender, culture, transportation, health literacy and access to healthcare services.

“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.”

“This is the first program to comprehensively approach patient care by increasing entry points to the healthcare system, which in turn strengthens patient navigation programs, activates community resources and places an emphasis on cancer survivorship,” says Erica Bills, Komen Michigan Executive Director.

The program has joined forces with the Michigan Public Health Institute, local policy advocates and legislative supporters to help incorporate the Cancer Toolkit into the State of Michigan Governor’s health platform. The BCT will connect local resources to those with an immediate need for meaningful advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer and the welfare of the participants.

The BCT pilot program will be launched in February, 2018, and tools will be available to the public in Fall, 2018. Plans are in place to launch the program nationally in 2019.

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 2016 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 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. Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Komen was founded in 1982 by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Komen Michigan is working to better the lives of those facing breast cancer in the local community. Through events like the Komen Michigan Race for the Cure®, Komen Michigan has invested more than $12 million in community breast health programs in 24 counties and has helped contribute to the more than $920 million invested globally in research. For more information, call (616) 752-8262 or visit www.komenmichigan.org.