Susan G. Komen® Michigan Awards $64,066 in New Small Grants for Local Breast Cancer Services

Susan G. Komen Michigan today announced $64,066 in new community grants for 2017.  To help achieve Susan G. Komen’s bold goal to reduce current breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026, Komen Michigan annually funds local projects to help meet the most critical needs of the community, including projects that provide vitally needed breast cancer screening, diagnostic and treatment services and support, including patient navigation, education, medical supplies and financial assistance.

The most recent local Komen grants were awarded to:

Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor Legacy
Breast cancer survivors along the continuum of care have the need for specialized psychosocial supports in order to address their psychological, emotional, and physical health.  The Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor (CSC) proposes the following programs which focus on the maintenance and growth of our existing two -part offering. The proposed will address 1) nutrition and 2) support with the transition to life post treatment in Washtenaw and Livingston Counties. This program will be implemented in strong collaboration with St. Joseph Mercy Health System. CSC will assess program participation, satisfaction and perceived benefit with a variety of set benchmarks and surveys. It is anticipated that the program will be successful in improving physical and psychosocial quality of life for people along the breast cancer continuum of care in both Washtenaw and Livingston Counties.

Grass Lake Sanctuary
Our aim is to transform our community of 300 breast cancer survivor alumni into an active peer-to-peer community network that will provide ongoing support for more than 300 breast cancer survivor alumni in the 7 mid-Michigan Counties and beyond. Our goal is to transform well-intentioned, caring and compassionate alumni into “transformational” peer-support practitioners. In this phase we will train a core “pilot” group of alumni and co-create the future training curriculum.  Long-term, these core pilot group participants will become the next phase community leaders for the network. Our ultimate outcome is to create a community network of peer support leaders that support not only our program alumni but the entire community they are embedded in.  Ultimately, we aim to have a peer-to-peer group or circle in each county run by peers that act as liaison to the hospitals and especially supports the underserved populations like those in rural-areas and those who mistrust the medical system.

YMCA of Metropolitan Lansing
The YMCA of Metropolitan Lansing’s Turning Point Program targets at-risk breast cancer patients and survivors providing them with physical, social and emotional health and support.  We served last year 210 participants representing four of the seven counties served by the Michigan Affiliate. This grant request is for a Healthy Lifestyles Project which will create 20 nutritional and educational demonstrations along with a Women’s Weekend Retreat. The retreat would include a variety of educational topics in a natural setting designed for breast cancer patients and survivors. These two projects will reach 345 breast cancer survivors with a focus on those who are at risk. The retreat and Healthy Lifestyle demonstrations would result in educating those in our community about the importance of increasing physical activity, nutrition along with stress reduction.

Catherine’s Health Center
Count Me In helps low income women receive breast health education and services. We educate 900 women about  breast health, assist them with free or low cost breast services (Patient Navigation), provide 290 CBE’s and 265 mammograms, help those with abnormal screening  to access follow up in a timely manner (Case Management/Patient Navigation), and provide reminders for annual exams. In the clinic and community, one-on-one and in groups we reach women who may be underserved due to low income, knowledge deficits or ethnic and social barriers. We help women make and keep appointments for free or low cost breast cancer screening and follow up care; providing clinical breast exams, navigation, and case management to help women access care that meets their need and assure appropriate follow-up in a timely manner. We inform women about coverage under the ACA, assisting with eligibility, enrollment and help with financial assistance for services not covered by their health plan.

Grand Valley State University
Susan G. Komen Michigan can help prepare the next generation of health care professionals to be there for women who find lumps in their breasts. A $6,450 gift will help Grand Valley State University to purchase a third MammaCare Clinical Breast Examination Simulator Trainer and cart for its Simulation and Learning Resource Center. This equipment will provide hands-on breast health training for more than 200 graduate students in our nursing and physician assistant studies programs. When the students graduate, they will be right there in the examination rooms with women and can help to educate and diagnose them when they are concerned about breast cancer. These highly trained graduates will improve access and remove barriers to breast cancer screening for significant populations of low-income urban and rural Latinas, African-American, and White women. Equipment purchased with Komen funds will be evaluated as part of the Vice Provost for Health’s oversight of the Simulation Center.

Casting for Recovery
The purpose of the Casting for Recovery (CfR) retreat is to provide female breast cancer survivors from Michigan a respite from familiar routines in a natural setting where emotional well-being can flourish, at no cost to the participants. The retreat also promotes lessening survivors’ isolation and increasing problem solving and coping skills, through an opportunity to be with other survivors/women with Metastatic Breast Cancer. The CfR retreat hosts 14 women survivors, in order to maintain a small group atmosphere. Each retreat consists of three main components: Medical education with a special focus on lymphedema education, Breast Self-Awareness, and hormone related body changes; fly fishing introduction through casting sessions, entomology, equipment introduction, and knots; and psychosocial support through group and 1 on 1 counseling. Evaluations are completed at retreat’s end to help monitor results and progress towards fulfilling CfR’s mission.

Michigan Migrant Legal Assistance Project, Inc.
Migrant and Latina farmworkers need competent, language appropriate breast health and breast cancer education. They are less likely to receive adequate health education and services because of barriers such as language, immigration status, poverty, transient work, isolation, and, lack of insurance and transportation.  Our project involves an interactive dialogue during Breast Health and Breast Cancer Outreach and Education, which is specifically targeted to this population.  Key activities involve individual and group outreach and education on-site, where Migrant women live and work.  We will reach out to 700 women and distribute 850 educational pamphlets so that Hispanic/Latina migrant women are more likely to be screened and seek care. This project will further Komen’s mission by educating the most underserved of the Hispanic/Latina community, who may be undocumented, monolingual, and isolated from information about breast cancer and breast health screening resources.

About Susan G. Komen and Komen Michigan
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