Valley Breast Healthcare Fund
There is profound strength in numbers, especially when it relates to advocacy. Local agencies and community representatives, under the auspices of Griffin Hospital, came together more than sixteen years ago to discuss pressing topics concerning women’s health in the Valley and, among the issues, was breast cancer awareness.
Statistics at the time showed a climbing rate of breast cancer deaths in the region. The Valley Women’s Health Initiative, comprised of health and community members, was formed with a clear objective – intensify local breast cancer awareness with the hope of improving access to breast cancer screening and diagnostic imaging. The research was clear, when detected early and treated promptly, the survivability of breast cancer is greatly increased.
The purpose of this ongoing effort is to reach out to those who cannot afford the cost of breast cancer screening and diagnostic imaging and enable them to receive it. Working in collaboration with Griffin Hospital and other breast health facilities, the advisory committee wants to ensure no patient is turned away when the avenues of federal, state and local grant monies have been exhausted. What started as an initiative to educate women as well as local physicians, grew to hosting fundraisers to engage community members, providing free mammograms, and advocating for women’s health. Their collective voice led to many positive changes in educating and informing the Valley community, supporting legislation and grant funding – all in an effort to increase the early detection and treatment of breast cancer.
“More recently, we began seeking a local investment partner who could understand and support our objectives, said Kate Cosgrove, Committee Co-Chair. “After careful consideration, VCF became our selection to assist us in growing the Valley Breast Health Care Fund.”
Diagnostic imaging, medical treatments and patient advocacy have advanced over the years, but continue to fluctuate. There is hope that a day will come when breast cancer will have an ultimate cure. “Until that time comes, the Valley Breast Health Care Fund is able to address many needs in the vast area of breast wellness,” Kate said. “The legacy of what we are trying to achieve will continue far beyond any of us.”