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Does every woman still count?

Today, we are seeing some of the first effects of the new breast cancer screening guidelines recently released by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Every Woman Counts, a joint program by the state Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, provides mammograms for low-income women who are either uninsured or underinsured, but do not qualify for Medicaid.

However, citing budgetary concerns, the state announced it was not accepting new patients until next Fiscal Year, which begins on July 1. It also announced that once they do begin screening new patients again, only women age 50 and above will be eligible. Considering that one-fourth to one-third of the 270,000 women who are typically screened by the program are in their 40s, limiting it to women 50 and above amounts to a rather significant reduction.

Today, Assemblymembers Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara), Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, health organizations, breast cancer survivors and advocates held a press conference to express their outrage at the California Department of Public Health’s new directive to shut the doors for breast cancer screening services for 1.2 million low-income and uninsured.

“This is a certain death sentence for many women. I find it unconscionable that state officials would arbitrarily prevent access to women under the age of 50 and cease enrolling those who are eligible. Statistics show that early screening and detection for all women saves lives and money,” said Assemblymember Pedro Nava, author of AB 359 signed by the Governor earlier this year which increased access to digital mammography for women in California under the Every Women Counts program.

What are your thoughts on the Every Woman Counts program being cut from the state budget? If you’re as passionate about this issue as we are, please visit the Komen Advocacy Alliance online to learn ways on how you can make an impact and vote for the cure.

Thank You to the 2009 Race Teams

Beverly Dalton and part of the USPS team

The Team Captains for the Orange County Race for the Cure rock! There is no other way to describe them. They get results . . . teams with lots of people, teams that raise money to fight breast cancer, teams that may be small but are mighty with spirit. Team members account for about half of the participants at Race for the Cure in September each year. They account for immeasurable enthusiasm; displaying Komen pride and corporate pride with rallies, team t-shirts, creative fund raising and fun costumes on the Race course.

The overall largest team for 2009 was from the United States Postal Service. Yes, they deliver for Komen – a team with 976 members! Long-time team captain for the post office is Beverly Dalton. Thanks to Beverly and every member of the team.

The team that raised the most money overall was Team PIMCO, with an amazing total of $71,946.56. Thank you! That money will make a huge difference to women in Orange County, helping to fund breast health education, screening and treatment.

The very results-oriented Team PIMCO

Komen OC Community Forum

Join us on December 16 from 12:00-1:30 p.m. as we address the recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force report about mammography and hear from everyone involved in the Orange County breast cancer movement!

Our panel will include:
Dr. Lisa Guerra, MD, Hoag Hospital

Dr. Peter Scheid, Director of Medical Management, CalOptima

Sandra Rose, Director of Community Relations, CalOptima

Rhonda Folsom, MPH, CHES, Program Supervisor, Orange County   Cancer Detection Partnership, County of Orange Health Care Agency

Joanna L. Fawzy Morales, Esq. Director, Cancer Legal Resource Center Adjunct Professor of Law, Loyola Law School Disability Rights Legal Center

Chris Tannous, PhD, President Komen OC Board

Lisa Wolter, Executive Director, Komen OC

Participants are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch to this meeting. Komen for the Cure will provide water, coffee and soft drinks.

Location: The Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® 3191-A Airport Loop Drive Costa Mesa, CA  92626

Space is limited. Please RSVP by Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at: jcastaneda@komenoc.org

Komen OC’s Grants Award Breakfast!

Komen OC is awarding more than $900,000 in grants this Friday at our annual Community Grants Award Breakfast.
The community groups receiving the grants serve a diversity of key populations in the area, and will use the grants specifically to implement breast health programs and initiatives to promote early detection of breast cancer and provide access to care throughout Orange County in an effort to save women’s lives.

By implementing an extensive range of breast health initiatives, Komen grantees take proactive steps in ensuring that all women and men have access to life-saving breast health care. Last year alone, more than 8,500 uninsured and underserved women were provided assistance in obtaining free mammograms.

The 2009 community grants recipients and their breast health programs are:
· AltaMed Health Services Corporation / Breast Cancer Early Detection and Care Program
· Asian American Senior Citizens Service Center / Strengthening the Ties: A Multi-dimensional Approach to Raising Breast Health Awareness among Chinese American Women
· Breast Cancer Solutions / Medical Financial Aid; Temporary Financial Aid Program
· Kommah Seray Inflammatory Breast Cancer Foundation / Taking Care of Ourselves and Each Other
· Laguna Beach Community Clinic / Breast Care Advocacy
· Latino Center for Prevention and Action in Health and Welfare / Salud de Seno Breast Health Program
· Nhan Hoa Comprehensive Health Care Clinic / Breast Care for Low-Income and Uninsured Young People
· Orange County Korean American Health Information and Education Center / Pink Ribbon Awareness
· Orange County Rescue Mission Healthcare Services / ACT (Access to Care & Treatment) Now Project
· Planned Parenthood Orange and San Bernardino Counties / Breast Health Program
· Share Our Selves (SOS) / SOS Women’s Initiative
· The G.R.E.E.N. Foundation / Be Self Empowered (BSE)
· Vietnamese American Cancer Foundation / Breast Health Navigation and Education Program
· YWCA of North Orange County / Early Breast Cancer Screening and Education

Take A Stand!

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has released new guidelines that could significantly change breast cancer screening approaches in the U.S., recommending against routine mammograms for women 40-49 and questioning the value of breast cancer screenings for women older than 75.

However, extensive scientific evidence demonstrates that mammography reduces breast cancer mortality both among women aged 50 and older, as well as among women aged 40 to 49.

Sign our petition and help us ensure that all women have access to this life-saving screening.

Support Komen! Meet a Star!

Charlie Sheen and Maria Schechter on the set.

Maria Ocana-Schechter attended the Komen Pink Tie Ball in June and had a great time, dancing and dining with her husband, her sister and many friends. Little did she know that she would soon make a new friend, a famous one by the name of Charlie Sheen.

Maria and her husband Bruce participated in the Live Auction at the Ball, winning a VIP package that took them to the CBS studios in Burbank for a taping of the hit television show “Two and a Half Men.” How much fun was it? Maria, Bruce and guests had front row seats for the taping, got to meet stars Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer afterward, plus enjoyed wine and appetizers before a tour of the set, backstage and props. They also met the show’s creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre and received two signed vanity cards. (If you watch the show, you know what they are.)

“Charlie is as handsome in person as on screen,” Maria reports. “It was a fabulous experience that my husband and I enjoyed immensely thanks to Komen.”

Save the date: the 2010 Pink Tie Ball will be May 15.

Mammograms Save Lives

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force this week made recommendations that significantly change breast cancer screening approaches, recommending against routine mammograms for women 40-49 and questioning the value of breast cancer screenings for women older than 75.

What do these recommendations mean? The Task Force’s recommendations are not binding, but are often consulted by medical professionals and by third-party public and private medical funders.

What is the reaction from Susan G. Komen for the Cure? Key points given by Komen headquarters include:

* Mammograms save lives in women 40 to 49 and over 50.

* Komen would not want to see a change in policy or reimbursement for screening mammography at this time.  Susan G. Komen for the Cure continues to recommend annual mammography beginning at age 40 for women of average risk and earlier for women with known risks for breast cancer. Komen’s current screening guidelines can be found at www.komen.org. Komen is constantly evaluating its guidelines and would not change them without serious consideration.

* Our real focus should be on the fact that one-third of the women who qualify for screening under today’s guidelines are not being screened due to lack of access, education or awareness.  That issue needs focus and attention: If we can make progress with screening in vulnerable populations, we could make more progress in the fight against breast cancer.

Local women talk to the Orange County Register about the new suggested guidelines http://www.ocregister.com/articles/mammogram-219910-women-cancer.html including survivor Jane Hill, on staff at Orange County Komen.

Committed to the Community

 

Monica Olmos, Telenova Star Adamari Lopez & Jorge Castaneda are committed to educating and reinforcing the importance of early detection and diagnosis among the Hispanic community

Komen OC in partnership with Unidos Contra el Càncer de Seno, is presenting a Breast Cancer Healing Mass to raise breast cancer awareness among Orange County’s Hispanic community. The Healing Mass will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish at 7:00 p.m. tonight.  Featuring local leaders who are active in the fight against breast cancer, the goal of the inspirational community event is to help educate Latinos about breast cancer and empower them to be advocates of their own breast health.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish is located at 110 S. Center St., Santa Ana, CA 92704

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, and breast cancer mortality is higher among Latinos due to various factors including language barriers and cultural stigmas. Unidos Contra el Càncer de Seno is a collaborative of community organizations and stakeholders working with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to improve the breast heatlh of Latinos in Orange County through outreach, education and empowerment of the community.

 

More Volunteers to Love

Jill and Cindy

Jill Jelnick with Cindy Brenneman

James K

Lisa Wolter with James Kawakami

Here are more special people who were honored for their volunteer efforts on behalf of the Komen Orange County Affiliate. The party at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana gave everyone a chance to socialize, eat great food and share their passion for Komen. “We are continuously humbled and grateful for the outpouring of support from our volunteers, who are so vital to our work in finding a cure for breast cancer,” said Lisa Wolter, Executive Director.

Outstanding Youth Volunteer Jill Jelnick: Jill is a senior at Aliso Niguel High School and has been volunteering with Komen for the past six years to honor her grandmother, who passed away from breast cancer. She is the founding president of the Pink Ribbon Club at her school.

Outstanding Youth Volunteer Daniel Angarita: Daniel is a senior at Cal State Fullerton and a new volunteer this year. He gave his time and talent as a videographer for the Pink Tie Ball and Race for the Cure.

The Promise of One Award, Pat MacKenzie, Huntington Beach: Pat has volunteered for the Race for the Cure for the past 17 years, taking on responsibilities for set up, clean up, and everything in between. She has also given her time to the Pink Tie Ball and Breast Health Symposium committees with a willingness to fill any role needed.

The Promise of One Award, James Kawakami, Costa Mesa: Kawakami has been a volunteer for the past eight years, performing various vital roles at the Race for the Cure. He draws inspiration from his mother, who passed away in 2001 after living with breast cancer for 18 years. His attention to detail and enthusiasm for any task makes even trash duty fun and important.

Applause for Volunteers

jill krum

ED Lisa Wolter with Jill Krum.

cindy and marica

Cindy Brenneman with Marica Pendjer.

How do you say thank you? Often and with heartfelt sincerity.  In the case of the Komen Orange County Affiliate, you say thank you to volunteers with a little party and awards.

On a recent night at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, Cindy Brenneman, Komen’s Director of Volunteer Services, put her appreciation into words. “It takes a village. I am so inspired and impressed by our volunteers, some who have been involved for over 18 years and many who have just started. Without each and every one of our volunteers, the Komen Mission would not have the momentum and global recognition it has.”

Cindy calculated that volunteers in Orange County gave 22,863 hours in the past year to help with Race for the Cure, office duties and at countless health fairs, events and meetings.  Volunteers spotlighted with awards included:

Volunteer of the Year –Jill Krum. Jill has been a Komen volunteer for 10 years,  helping at the Race, in the office and at health fairs. She is passionate about breast health education and awareness.

Komen Warrior Award – Marica Pendjer. Marica started as a volunteer with the 1999 Race and hasn’t stopped since. She has served as president of the Board, Race Chair and has been a grant reviewer, committee chair for Pink Tie Ball and the Breast Health Symposium,  to name a few of her contributions.

Join this distinguished group! Go to www.komenoc.org and click on Volunteering for an application.