Welcome to the Susan G. Komen Puget Sound 2016 Annual Report. It’s with great pleasure that I share in retrospect the details of a very productive year. In this fiscal year, we awarded nearly $1.2 million in grants – more than $700,000 invested in the community through breast health programs that serve thousands, and $400,000 into science to find the cures.
In 2016 our supporters helped in so many ways to make real progress against this awful disease, from the first-ever Northwest Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference for patients and caregivers, to a bright and sunny day of fundraising through Race for the Cure. Thanks to the generosity, involvement and commitment of people like you, Komen Puget Sound has the resources to offer help to those who need it most. We are grateful to you and all our donors, volunteers and partners who stand with us and save lives, year after year.
Yours in the fight,
In 24 years, Komen Puget Sound has invested more than $30 million in local nonprofit, tribal and government agencies that provide breast health and breast cancer services to residents living in our 16-county service area. At the annual Impact Celebration in May, Komen Puget Sound awarded more than $700,000 in grants for vital services to underserved women and families.
The 2016 grant recipients were selected to provide vital services to 8,000 underserved women in the Komen’s 16-county Western Washington service area and respond to specific community needs. For instance, black women are 30 percent more likely than their white counterparts to die from breast cancer – and are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage of the disease. One grantee, the Northwest Leadership Foundation, was selected to provide early breast cancer outreach, education, screening and referral to appropriate services for 360 African-American women in Tacoma-Pierce County. Grantees in other communities also provide breast cancer screening and culturally-appropriate patient treatment and support programs.
Every four years, in partnership with government agencies, non-government organizations and other partnership groups, Komen completes in-depth research, data analysis and planning to determine where breast health needs in the region are greatest. This community needs assessment guides how Komen allocates funding among the groups it supports, focusing finances in the communities that need it most.
“The data we collected in our needs assessment has taught us a lot about the role Komen can play in meeting community needs regarding women’s health, specifically within the breast cancer space,” said Robyn Sneeringer, the Affiliate’s director of programs. “With new advances in science, changes to our health system, and progress in key communities, we have to be thinking about our changing landscape — redefining disparities, tackling stigma, empowering communities, navigating our health system, moving towards survivorship, and so much more.”
In October, Komen Puget Sound worked with metastatic breast cancer patients and healthcare providers on a one-day, first-of-its-kind event at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
The Northwest Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference was designed by and for those living with metastatic disease, bringing together patients and caregivers, medical professionals and leading researchers to:
Featured speakers included Fred Hutch researchers Dr. VK Gadi and Dr. Julie Gralow, both of whom care for breast cancer patients at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Dr. Thomas Brown of the Swedish Cancer Institute led a panel discussion on patient-centered research and clinical trial opportunities. Shirley Mertz, metastatic patient and president of the national Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, led a panel on advocacy, capped with an address from Congresswoman Suzan DelBene.
Conference sessions were recorded and can be watched on this YouTube channel.
Building on its bold goal to reduce current breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. over the next decade, Komen awarded a total of $32.7 million in new research grants for 2016.
The grants include $800,000 in new funding for research at Fred Hutch and the University of Washington, bringing Komen’s total research investment in Washington state to $11,480,427 since 1982.
Dr. Grzelak received $180,000 to understand why breast cancer has a tendency to spread to the liver, why breast cancer cells in the liver stay quiet for long periods of time, and what triggers them to awaken and grow once again. Understanding this process will allow the design of new therapeutic approaches for metastatic breast cancer.
Dr. Anderson received $200,000 to assess breast health care needs in low- and middle-income countries. This work will identify unmet needs and provide partner countries with information and tools needed to improve breast care and outcomes.
Dr. Disis received $400,000 to develop a vaccine to block inflammation in obese, fatty tissue with the goal of reducing the incidence of breast cancer in obese women.
Dr. Gralow received $20,000 to bring together medical experts, researchers, patients, policymakers and other key stakeholders to discuss opportunities for increasing inclusion of breast cancer patients with bone-only metastasis in clinical trials.
Clinical Breast Exams
* Preliminary data
I’m grateful for the unwavering support of friends and family and for the work of Susan G. Komen. Our Puget Sound affiliate funds breast cancer screenings and notably — breast cancer research to solve the puzzle of genetic risk that’s present for many of us.Alexis Coffer, Breast Cancer Survivor
Donations are a great way to advance our progress toward the Komen Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50 percent by 2026.
Want to lend your time and talents in the fight against breast cancer? We offer year-round volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups.