Catherine’s Health Center Receives Avon Grant to Support Early Detection of Breast Cancer Project

The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program has awarded a $26,300 one-year grant to Catherine’s Health Center to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer. It is the seventh year that the program has received funding from the Avon Foundation for Women to support its work on this important health issue, and in recognition of the program’s excellence.

The breast health program at Catherine’s Health Center will educate Grand Rapids-area women and refer them to low-cost or free mammograms and clinical breast exams in their own communities.  The vital program will also assist women to obtain follow-up services when needed.

Since 2006, “Count Me In” at Catherine’s Health Center has reached almost 6,000 women with information about the importance of early detection of breast cancer and has referred more than 1,200 women for mammograms and clinical breast exams.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the United States, and the leading single cause of death overall in women between the ages of 40 and 55.  According to the American Cancer Society, 6,900 new cases of breast cancer will be detected in Michigan this year, and 1,400 lives will be lost.  Nationwide, there is a new diagnosis every three minutes and a death from breast cancer every 14 minutes. While advances have been made in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure, early detection still affords the best opportunity for successful treatment.  Programs such as “Count Me In” help ensure that all women have access to early detection information and options, even poor and medically underserved women.

“We are proud that the Avon Foundation for Women shares our mission and has chosen to continue to support our program.  With these funds we will be able to provide breast health education, screening and access to care for the low income, uninsured women in our community.” says Ms. Karen Kaashoek, Executive director of Catherine’s Health Center.

Since 1993, the Avon Foundation has awarded more than 1,550 grants to community-based breast health programs across the United States, including “Count Me In” at Catherine’s Health Center.  These programs are dedicated to educating underserved women about breast cancer and linking them to early detection screening services.

The Avon Foundation for Women and Breast Cancer Crusade
The Avon Foundation for Women, an accredited 501(c)(3) public charity, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women and today is the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, which observes its 20th anniversary in 2012, has placed Avon at the forefront of the fight against breast cancer; today, Avon is the leading corporate supporter of the cause globally. In the 20 years since the Crusade’s launch, Avon breast cancer programs in 58 countries have donated more than $740 million for research and advancing access to care, regardless of a person’s ability to pay. Avon raises funds for the Crusade through the sale of Avon “Pink Ribbon” products, and through events and walks, such as the U.S. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series, which is the Foundation’s largest fund-raising source.

The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program
The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program is administered by Cicatelli Associates Inc. to support community-based, non-profit breast health programs across the country.  The Fund’s National Advisory Board selected “Count Me In” at Catherine’s Health Center as one of 120 new grant recipients nationwide in the 2012 cycle of Avon Breast Health Outreach Program grants.  These organizations were chosen based on their ability to effectively reach women, particularly minority, low-income, and older women, who are often medically underserved.

For more Information

For more information on “Count Me In” at Catherine’s Health Center, please call Dan at 616-336-8800.  For more information about breast cancer, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 or www.cancer.org, or the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-4-CANCER or www.cancer.gov.

To learn more about the Avon Foundation for Women, call 1-866-505-AVON or visit www.avonfoundation.org, where you can access free printable Breast Health Resource Guides in English and Spanish.  For information or to register or support the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer events, visit www.avonwalk.org or call 1-888-540-WALK.

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