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2015 Grant Awards
Allina Associated Foundation, Cambridge, Buffalo and Owatonna, MN.
Program Title: Hope Fund.
Grant Award: $75,000.00
The Hope Fund was initially established in 2011 to provide emergency financial assistance to qualifying breast cancer patients from the rural Minnesota counties of Isanti, Chisago, Kanabec, Mille Lacs and Pine. In 2012, the program was expanded to include people from the Buffalo Hospital service area counties of Wright, Sherburne, Meeker and McLeod and the Owatonna Hospital service area counties of Steele, Waseca, and Dodge. The Hope Fund has also supported qualifying breast cancer patients from outside these counties who have no access to other similar programs. Financial assistance provided through the Hope Fund can be used for rent/mortgage payments, groceries, phone/utility payments, fuel, car repairs, and similar needs. At each location, applications are reviewed by a panel that includes breast cancer survivors, community volunteers, and hospital staff, and decisions typically are reported to the applicant within 48 hours. Whenever possible, payments are made directly to creditors, but grocery and gas gift cards (specifically for fuel only) are also distributed. The facilities have agreed to cover all administrative costs, so 100% of contributions support those with breast cancer and their loved ones. Evaluation of the program occurs through data collection and analysis and self-report from fund recipients. While similar programs operate around the state, none of them serve patients who live in and receive care in these twelve rural counties.
American Indian Cancer Foundation, Minneapolis, MN.
Program Title: Pink Shawls Minnesota.
Grant Award: $70,651.00
The American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICAF) will continue to foster collaborative partnerships statewide and deliver community health education to improve breast health outcomes for American Indian women by building a sustainable network of culturally-tailored community education opportunities and increased access to available screening services for American Indian communities. This project addresses all of the priorities identified in the Community Profile. Key activities include: 1) Collaboration across several programs statewide. 2) Development of an American Indian Community Health Worker to: a) Raise awareness about breast health issues in culturally-specific ways within tribal and urban communities through the development and delivery of the Pink Shawl Project and other culturally relevant information and events and b) Promote programs that increase access to breast health education and screening through improved coordination and use of available resources at community events. AICAF will evaluate several measures of project reach, participation and impact. Expected short-term impact will be increased knowledge and engagement among Pink Shawl participants and increased community awareness of breast health and breast cancer. Longer-term impacts will include increased screening rates among American Indian women and decrease in late-stage breast cancer diagnoses through the culturally-tailored education and promotion of screening programs.
Angel Foundation, Minneapolis, MN.
Program Title: Emergency Financial Assistance Program.
Grant Award: $75,000.00
This program provides emergency financial assistance for critical non-medical basic needs such as rent or mortgage, food, gas, and utilities to women and men in active treatment for their breast cancer. Eligible applicants must be over 18, have their diagnosis verified by an oncologist or oncology nurse, meet financial criteria, be in active treatment, and reside (or receive treatment) in the 7-county Twin Cities area. Financial stress impedes a patient’s ability to focus on healing and survivorship. The patients this program serves are not looking for a handout; they simply need a helping hand UP during a vulnerable time. Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) grants provide a bridge between when a patient feels severe financial strain and medical assistance programs start. Angel Foundation assesses and approves these requests within seven days – efficiently getting needed financial aid to patients and ensuring they stay current with utilities and housing payments. In doing so, the patient’s stress is lessened, allowing them to reserve more energy for self-care, treatment, healing and survivorship. Having a significant positive impact on the physical and mental health of the recipient, EFA grants fill a critical need not addressed by clinical cancer treatment.
Breast Cancer Education Association (BCEA), Roseville, MN.
Program Title: Twin Cities Breast Cancer Education Conference.
Grant Award: $20,000.00
The only conference of its kind in the Twin Cities, this annual Breast Cancer Education Conference features renowned experts and resources on the latest in breast cancer research, nutrition, care and prevention.
Cancer Legal Line, St. Paul, MN.
Program Title: Breast Cancer Legal Program.
Grant Award: $75,000.00
Cancer Legal Line’s Breast Cancer Legal Project provides and coordinates pro bono legal services to low-income breast cancer patients and survivors in Minnesota. Staff and volunteer attorneys in the community help clients with legal issues that are barriers to care and affect their ability to focus on treatment and wellness by providing pro bono legal care services. Cancer Legal Line helps their clients meet basic needs through civil legal assistance in the following areas (I-Help): I-Insurance Coverage (health insurance, short/long term disability); H-Housing and Financial (eviction, foreclosure, creditor issues, bankruptcy); E-Employment (ADA/MHRA discrimination/reasonable accommodation, FMLA); L-Legal Planning (health care directives, guardianship, wills, Powers of Attorney); P-Public Benefits (Social Security Disability, Medicaid). By receiving critical legal services at a vulnerable time, low-income clients are able to focus their energy on treatment and living life rather than an endless loop of “what-if” and worry, and report that their quality of life has improved. Cancer Legal Line works closely with oncology providers throughout the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota, as well as a variety of cancer support groups throughout the state. Cancer Legal Line is the only organization in Minnesota providing direct legal services specifically to low-income breast cancer patients and survivors.
Care Partners, Inc., Eveleth, MN.
Program Title: Care Partners Breast Cancer Financial Assistance Program.
Grant Award: $47,000.00
The Care Partners Breast Cancer Financial Assistance Program provides financial relief to individuals/families living on the Iron Range who are faced with a breast cancer diagnosis. This project will use Care Partners’ current system of tracking and disbursement of funds, along with educational information and other support services. Each applicant will be eligible for up to $800 during an enrollment year (enrollment year is determined by the date they formally enrolled in the program). The initial $400 grant will be awarded by the Project Director/Coordinator and if the applicant needs additional assistance, they may be eligible for an additional $400. Formal requests are examined by the Board of Directors (decision within 48 hours) and the client is notified immediately. Grants usage is directed by the applicant – Care Partners will only pay an applicant directly if they are reimbursing the client for an out-of-pocket expense (receipts must be sent in). Most disbursements of funding are made directly to a vendor by Care Partners or where they have established a direct billing account (used often for applicants who use the funds for gas). The impact of this program will be the increase of breast cancer applicants assisted – while also providing peace of mind, alleviating stress, and feeling supported and cared for.
Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Foundation, Brainerd, MN.
Program Title: The Pink Ribbon Cupboard.
Grant Award: $25,000.00
Going through breast cancer is difficult enough under the best of circumstances; the Pink Ribbon Cupboard hopes to help eliminate some of the stress that occurs as a result of the financial burdens these families are encountering. The purpose of the Pink Ribbon Cupboard is to provide emergency financial assistance for patients undergoing breast cancer treatment. The financial assistance will be for non-medical needs, such as gas vouchers for travel expenses, mortgage/rent payments, groceries, telephone bills, utility bills, etc. This program primarily serves Aitkin, Crow Wing, and Cass Counties but also other outstate counties as funds allow. These counties are characterized by lower than median income levels, high unemployment, and high levels of poverty. A three person Board reviews the needs, as identified by medical personnel, and determines the amount of assistance to be provided to each applicant. The Pink Ribbon Cupboard hopes to make an impact by assisting 50 to 75 patients and their families through this grant. This is the only program in the area that pays non-medical bills for families. This is a one-time financial aid to families during treatment, providing assistance until they are able to return to work. This program also plans to provide breast health education to more than 750 women of all ages as they participate in various events throughout the area.
Gundersen Medical Foundation, LaCrosse, WI.
Program Title: Breast Health – Reaching Women in Rural Communities.
Grant Award: $32,196.00
The purpose of this program is to bring breast health outreach services to the medically underserved women of rural Fillmore and Houston counties. Staff from Gundersen Health System (GHS) in La Crosse, Wisconsin, will host four special Komen screening events on its mobile mammography unit (MMU) to provide uninsured or underinsured women with breast education and screening mammograms. These special events are in addition to the more than 40 days in 2015 the MMU is scheduled for screening events at GHS Minnesota clinics. Funding from this program will provide: (1) 50 women with screening mammograms and clinical breast exams; (2) diagnostic services for five women; and, (3) 250 women with Komen breast health education brochures. Formative and summative evaluations will be conducted. Staff will meet quarterly to discuss any issues and/or challenges and make necessary changes for future events. Women who participate in the events will complete a short patient survey. All information collected will be presented in a final report for the Komen affiliate. As a result of this project, Gundersen Health System expects to: (1) see an increase in the number of uninsured or underinsured women who receive annual screening mammograms; (2) provide free diagnostic services to five women who would otherwise refuse them for financial reasons; and, (3) increase breast health awareness through the distribution of event flyers and breast health education brochures.
Hennepin Health Foundation, Minneapolis, MN.
Program Title: Urgent Needs, Medical Supports, and Complimentary Therapies for Breast Cancer Patients.
Grant Award: $72,920.00
This program will provide support for (1) urgent needs for people with breast cancer and (2) evidence-based, non-reimbursable, complementary therapies for people with breast cancer. Key activities will include assessment of patient needs by breast cancer clinical nurse navigator and colleagues (including lymphedema program manager, social worker, survivorship program manager, and other providers); internal referral for provision of needs and/or complementary therapies; and provision of needs and/or complementary therapies. Evaluation methods will include documentation of provision of needs, costs, and patient experience of care. It is expected that patient experience of care will be improved, and that the department will be able to demonstrate a case to HCMC leadership for inclusion of such items comprising urgent needs within the operating budget in the future. It is also anticipated that this one-year, grant-funded initiative will be able to build evidence with payers (especially, but not limited to, Medicaid) to expand coverage to complementary therapies.
Minneapolis Pathways, Minneapolis, MN.
Program Title: Renewing Life for Women Breast Cancer Survivors.
Grant Award: $74,501.00
Renewing Life (RL) empowers participants to live authentically using practical tools, which support them to view illness and loss as opportunities for spiritual and emotional growth. The overall purpose of this project is to increase access to social and emotional wellness programs to low-income women breast cancer survivors in Minnesota. Key activities of the program include 1) train 20 new Renewing Life Facilitators to spread the program to women breast cancer survivors throughout Minnesota; 2) offer three free RL weekend retreats for low-income women breast cancer survivors – one will be held in Roseau, one in St. Cloud/Brainerd, and one in Rochester; 3) offer one free Whole Hearted Living weekend retreat in the Twin Cities for low-income women breast cancer survivors; 4) enhance the RL Retreat Curriculum Experience by expanding expressive arts activities, creating more opportunities for active reflection of the material (walking meditation, small group work) and integrating the senses (sight, touch, etc.); and 5) host a two-day refresher training to certified RL Facilitators, following the enhancement of the retreat curriculum. This project will be evaluated by a variety of demographic and feedback surveys. An internal research committee is also performing a mixed methods study, with a focus group of past project participants, to determine their perceptions of how RL has impacted their lives. Together, Pathways and the MN health care community will reach breast cancer survivors throughout MN. Individuals affected by breast cancer who are facing depression, isolation and are lower-income will realize positive changes in emotional well-being.
Minnesota Department of Health, St. Paul, MN.
Program Title: Sage Breast Cancer Screening Program.
Grant Award: $200,000.00
Sage has provided free breast and cervical cancer screening to low-income, uninsured and under-insured women for more than 22 years. The purpose of Sage is to provide access to timely breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services for eligible women. A Medicaid waiver enables Sage to offer access to cancer treatment for women diagnosed with cancer. Sage has many accomplishments, including: 1) through a statewide network of over 450 participating clinics, Sage has provided more than 275,000 mammograms to more than 150,000 women; 2) more than 2,185 breast cancers and 87 invasive cervical cancers have been detected through Sage since 1992; 3) Sage developed highly effective strategies that target populations that are never and/or rarely screened including direct mail, televised phone banks, and community-based screening events with mobile mammography; and 4) more than 39% of the population served by Sage are from communities of color that make-up 14.9% of Minnesota's population. Sage obtains complete clinical information on all clients in order to ensure timely and appropriate follow-up and treatment occurs and to evaluate the program. Ongoing evaluation of recruitment strategies occur to assure cost-effective use of limited resources. Sage expects to decrease breast cancer mortality by increasing mammography screening among groups that experience high rates of breast cancer including African American, American Indian, and underserved populations.
Open Arms of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
Program Title: Healthy Meals for Those Living with Breast Cancer and Their Caregivers and Families.
Grant Award: $75,000.00
Open Arms is the only nonprofit organization in the state that prepares and delivers free meals tailored to meet the nutritional needs of individuals living with life-threatening diseases. Open Arms prepares and delivers almost 470,000 meals to their clients yearly, with many of the ingredients from a local urban garden they manage with the mission to improve client diets. This program provides food services and nutrition education programming for nutritionally at-risk individuals living with breast cancer and their families/caregivers in the Twin Cities. Support from this grant will increase access to homemade, nutritious meals for the most vulnerable breast cancer patients and survivors—promoting their healing and improving their quality of life.
Pillsbury United Communities, Minneapolis, MN.
Program Title: Coyle Community Health.
Grant Award: $40,479.00
East African immigrants live with ongoing cultural, linguistic and racial barriers to accessing consistent, high quality health care, all of which have contributed to a drastic decline in their health and wellbeing. Of particular concern is breast cancer for East African women, who may show earlier onset of disease and more advanced tumors at diagnosis compared with Caucasian women. They also face significant risks associated with breast cancer, including low awareness of breast cancer, fear of diagnosis, language barriers, and stigma within the Somali community when cancer is diagnosed. Pillsbury United Communities (PUC) will focus on the Somali and Oromo communities and will address the disparity in breast cancer awareness, prevention, and diagnosis through its Coyle Community Health Program. By delivering culturally relevant education and awareness building in women’s health groups through the use of documented cultural assets, PUC will decrease health disparities for immigrant women, reduce the stigma of breast cancer diagnosis, and improve health outcomes of immigrant women.
Regions Hospital Foundation, St. Paul, MN.
Program Title: Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Emergency Assistance Program.
Grant Award: $15,000.00
The Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Emergency Assistance Program helps breast cancer patients at Regions pay for rent, utility bills, food and transportation costs when treatment has made it impossible for patients to pay for such expenses themselves. As the safety-net hospital in the East Metro, Regions sees some of the most financially vulnerable populations in the area. By providing temporary financial support to the poorest of the poor receiving breast cancer treatment, this program reduces the emotional and financial stress caused by their illnesses and treatments and helps them retain their dignity and quality of life. Eligible breast cancer patients will receive up to $1,000 in assistance per person. Care providers and social workers will talk with assisted patients to evaluate the direct results of the gifts: if patients kept up with rent and utility payments, if they kept their families properly fed, etc.
Ridgeview Foundation, Waconia, MN.
Program Title: Pay it Forward Fund.
Grant Award: $75,000.00
Since 2005, Pay It Forward Fund (PIFF) has paid up to $1,500 (max) in essential living expenses, such as housing, food, utilities, phone, transportation and medical bills to assist patients in need while undergoing current treatment for breast cancer. PIFF collaborates with providers, nurse liaisons, and social services, growing their access to serve seven breast cancer treatment centers in a six-county area in the Twin Cities urban and west metro suburban, and adjacent rural communities. Professionals at each site refer eligible patients to their confidential application. In 2014, PIFF granted nearly $250,000 to meet urgent financial needs for 190 recipients (average award = $1,313). To date, PIFF has paid out over $1.4 million to assist 1,185 patients with breast cancer. For three years, PIFF has measured program efficiency & effectiveness through two surveys. Since 2011, 174 former recipients have responded with positive median ratings of 6 out of 7 for program satisfaction, stress reduction (financial, personal, and family), and overall impact on recovery. Moreover, in a long-term follow-up, 55% of their 122 respondents confirmed that their “pay it forward” model inspired their decision to help fellow patients after recovery, through personal services (visits, rides, meals, childcare, massage), volunteer work, or fundraising. Surveys reveal that PIFF funding relieves recipients' short-term financial threats and grows a broader treatment support community for future breast cancer patients.
Southside Community Health Services, Inc., Minneapolis, MN.
Program Title: Southside Breast Health Education and Breast Cancer Screening Program.
Grant Award: $51,167.00
The Southside Breast Health Education and Breast Cancer Screening Program will deliver breast health education, referrals and appointments for clinical breast examinations, and referrals for mammography targeting at-risk women in South Minneapolis, Richfield, and St. Paul. The target population will be medically underserved and uninsured, low income, Latina, African American, and East African women. Because of the barriers confronting these populations in accessing health care, women often delay their clinical breast examinations and mammography critical to detection of breast cancer in its earlier stages. To address this, Southside Outreach will deliver 70 community outreach events at which 1,400 community residents will receive breast health education. 200 women at these events will receive medical clinic referrals for clinical breast examinations and instant appointments at Southside Medical Clinic or their preferred clinic. Overall, Southside Medical Clinic will conduct 650 clinical breast examinations during the grant year and make 200 referrals for mammography. The impact of these activities will be to improve early intervention for breast cancer in the target community.
Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN.
Program Title: Southeast Asian Breast Health Outreach Project.
Grant Award: $67,841.00
The purpose of the Southeast Asian Breast Health Outreach Project is to improve the health of low-income Vietnamese and Karen women in the Twin Cities area. Using Vietnamese and Karen-speaking community health workers, the program will increase the knowledge of breast cancer symptoms, increase access to breast cancer screening, and help those with breast cancer cope with and receive follow-up services. Major components of the program include outreach/education, screening facilitation and referrals, and conducting quarterly survivor support groups. Vietnamese language media will be utilized for education and community health workers will proactively provide educational culturally-specific educational materials, arrange classes, and attend community events to increase awareness. The project will facilitate and refer individual women for breast cancer screening, through reminders, helping to schedule appointments, assist with required paperwork and accompanying women as appropriate. Finally, the program will hold quarterly cancer survivor support groups to give patients the opportunity to share their experiences, provide mutual emotional support and gain survivor skills and knowledge taught by experts in the field. The program will result in increased prevention and early detection of breast cancer among Vietnamese and Karen women, as well as increased survivor skills.
West Side Community Health Services, St. Paul, MN.
Program Title: Breast Health Services for Medically Underserved Women in St. Paul.
Grant Award: $34,387.00
This program will address the need for culturally appropriate breast health education, screening and support services to medically underserved communities in St. Paul. These services will focus on the area’s growing Latino, Hmong and African American populations, as well as its African and Southeast Asian refugee communities. West Side aims to serve 1,750 individuals with breast health outreach and education, and 600 women with accessing screening services and other essential support (i.e. a Latina survivors’ support group). Additionally, West Side will continue to work with its Peer Education program, and to increase efforts to reach the Hmong community through the Hmong-speaking Community Health Worker on project staff. Evaluation of the project will include pre- and post-tests of participants, as well as surveys and staff feedback. Clinical measures will be tracked via West Side’s electronic health record, and will be guided by its Quality Council, as well as lead clinical quality staff. Overall, project effectiveness will be assessed by the number of women engaged by West Side in the aforementioned services, by the number of women that receive diagnostic screening and recommended treatment and when a decrease in breast cancer mortality is observed in its target population.
Susan G. Komen, National Headquarters: Annual payment for funding of breast cancer research only: $356,000.00
TOTAL AWARDED $1,482,142.00