Catherine’s Health Center Receives National Support


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, educate at-risk women on breast health, and ensure access to care. It is the eighth 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 Count Me In 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 help women who lack access to health care gain the needed services and help, offer information and education, and reinforce healthy lifestyle decisions.

Since 2006, the Count Me In program at Catherine’s Health Center has reached more than 7,900 women with information about the importance of early detection of breast cancer and has referred almost 1,800 women for mammograms and clinical breast exams.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, 232,670 new cases of breast cancer will be detected in the U.S. this year and 40,000 lives will be lost. Nationwide, there is a new diagnosis every three minutes and a death from breast cancer every 13 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 honored by the trust the Avon Foundation for Women has placed in us again this year and we are thrilled that the Avon Foundation shares our mission. We simply couldn’t be more pleased that Avon Foundation for Women has chosen to support our Count Me In program. With these funds we will be able to serve working poor and low income women by opening access to early detection. We supplement that by offering cancer and health education, coaching for improving health practices, and by helping women access specialized medical services when needed,” said Karen Kaashoek, Executive Director of Catherine’s Health Center.

Since 2000, the Avon Foundation has awarded $76.2 million through more than 1,600 Breast Health Outreach Program grants to 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.



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