2019/2020 Komen Memorial
Grant Awards $446,377

Susan G. Komen Memorial is proud to announce that $446,377 has been awarded in grants to agencies which provide breast health awareness, education, screening and treatment programs throughout its 36 county service area.

Seventy-five percent of net proceeds raised from Komen Memorial events remain in Central Illinois and twenty-five percent supports the Susan G. Komen National Grant Program for breast cancer research to benefit women throughout the United States and the world.  Since its establishment, Susan G. Komen Memorial has awarded more than $12.5 million to Central Illinois agencies for breast health awareness, education, screening, and treatment programs.

Peoria Area Grantees

Fulton County Health Department, Canton, IL – $15,347
Project Director:  Amy Edwards Phone:  (309) 647-1134 E-Mail:  aedwards@fultonco.org
Grant Title:  Education, Navigation, Supportive Services & Barrier Reduction
Fulton County is a large rural area adjacent to Peoria County. All clients seeking services from our facility are provided with education, service, and referrals regardless of their residency. Our office often sees client from the smaller towns within Peoria County due to the close proximity.  Patient navigation services are utilized to ensure that each individual seeking assistance receives comprehensive care. Our public health services are designed to benefit individuals seeking care through program promotions and education specific to their needs. Clients identified with abnormal breast screening results are case managed until they are no longer in need of follow up care. Those individuals diagnosed with breast cancer are referred for supportive services. Our county has an established Breast Cancer Survivor Group which meets quarterly.

OSF Saint Francis Medical Center Foundation, Peoria, IL – $10,750
Project Director: Nicole Willenborg      Phone: (309) 683-5444       E-Mail: nicole.r.willenborg@osfhealthcare.org
Grant Title:  Access to Breast Imaing Program
The Access to Breast Imaging Program will improve access to care by providing imaging exams to those in need.  Methods to achieve these goals will be communication of the grant availability throughout the OSF community and to those in the community with whom we partner.  The target populations are uninsured and underinsured African American and Hispanic populations, rural populations, and women of screening mammogram age who do not know about or do not follow screening mammogram guidelines.  We expect that removing the concern of financial burden will encourage women to receive the recommended breast imaging.

OSF Saint Francis Medical Center Foundation, Peoria, IL – $12,450
Project Director: Lisa Hartwig      Phone: (309) 282-1607       E-Mail: lisa.r.hartwig@osfhealthcare.org
Grant Title:  Complementary Care Scholarships
The OSF Complementary Care Scholarship exists as part of the continuum of care for breast cancer patients and survivors.  We will continue to provide scholarships for oncology massage and acupuncture to those with an identified need.  Grant funds will provide approximately 150 visits for these services to aid in return to work and usual activities, decreased healthcare costs of long term treatment and cancer-related side effects, and improved quality of life.

OSF-Saint Francis Medical Center Foundation, Peoria, IL – $18,000
Project Director: Mindy Thompson    Phone: (309) 683-5328   E-Mail: mindy.r.thompson@osfhealthcare.org
Grant Title:  Pink Link
OSF Saint Francis Medical Center will continue to collaborate with Unity Point Health-Methodist of Illinois to provide financial assistance for patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer through the Pink Link grant. The Pink Link grant will continue to focus on newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, providing them with gas and grocery cards while undergoing treatment. We understand the financial burden of cancer can be great for some. We have provided this program for the past 10 years with great success. We intend to target any breast cancer patient identified by navigation staff at either UPH or OSF who has a financial need. We expect to provide gas and grocery cards to approximately 180-200 patients during this grant cycle.  We desire for the patient’s main focus to be on healing instead of the stress of financial hardship.

Tazewell County Health Department, Tremont, IL – $48,496
Project Director:  Kim Gudzinskas       Phone:  (309) 929-0341      E-Mail: kgudzinskas@tchd.net
Grant Title:  Reaching the Unreachable
Tazewell County Health Department’s (TCHD) “Reaching the Unreachable” program provides breast health education and free breast cancer screenings in the counties of Marshall, Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford. Education will be focused on Black/African-American women and Hispanic/Latino women who would otherwise not receive breast health education and/or screenings.  We will continue to partner with Unity Point Health-Pekin Hospital for the annual Free Mammogram Day and hope to expand this “free” event to all 4 counties. Our program will increase access to breast cancer care by addressing systematic and cultural barriers, such as transportation and language barriers, which will lead to an increase in breast cancer screenings in women over 40.  We will provide no cost diagnostic services to uninsured and under insured women.  RN Patient Navigation services is provided to every woman enrolled in our program.

UnityPoint Health–Methodist | Proctor Foundation, Foundation, Peoria, IL – $43,680
Project Director:  Anne Bowman          Phone:  (309) 672-5979      E-Mail: anne.bowman@unitypoint.org
Grant Title:  Breast Health Navigation Services
Breast Cancer disparities are differences in breast cancer outcomes among specific population groups. These groups may include those characterized by race/ethnicity, religion, or nationality, socioeconomic status, age, geography, or disability. There are many reasons for the disparities in breast cancer outcomes in these populations. However, differences in the prevalence of established breast cancer risk factors, as well as barriers to quality care are often responsible. Barriers to quality care that may lead to disparities in breast cancer outcomes are: financial and economic, language and cultural, communication, health care systems, transportation, biases, fear. The project is a process by which a navigation team guides 225 patients through and around barriers in their continuum of care. Evidence has shown an improvement in 5-year survival rates of breast cancer patients and families who were navigated from screening through resolution.

Bloomington/Normal Area Grantees

Community Cancer Center Foundation, Normal, IL – $38,236
Project Director:  Becky Powell           Phone: (309) 451-8500      E-Mail: bpowell@cancercenter.org
Grant Title:  Comprehensive Breast Services of the Community Cancer Center
The Comprehensive Breast Services of the Community Cancer Center is designed to address the current needs of our local community by providing critical services to patients and removing barriers to care. This will be achieved through our navigation services for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, events on breast health targeting African American, Hispanic, and rural women, nutritional education and counseling on the importance of diet, exercise and wellness for breast cancer patients in or completing treatment, financial assistance for diagnostic mammograms or ultrasounds for those who are under-insured or have high deductibles,  transportation help to and from treatment appointments, coverage for durable medical equipment supplies, and financial assistance for women diagnosed with breast cancer for non-medical debts acquired during the course of treatment.

The Links Incorporated, Central Illinois Chapter, Bloomington, IL – $5,000
Project Director:  Wilma Bates              Phone:  (309) 530-0137      E-Mail: wilma24@msn.net
Grant Title:  Taking STEPS (Screening, Education, Treatment Programs)
Taking STEPS will present timeline of ensuring healthy breast, starting with the appointment and being comfortable with the process and asking questions.  We will provide screening, breast awareness education, and reminders why regular screening is necessary.  Our program will present information for women residing in McLean and Macon County.  The program will include health care providers, nutritionist, fitness instructors and BP/diabetic screening.   We will present info concerning how families deal with a cancer diagnosis and what resources are available to support.

Springfield Area Grantees

Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University, Springfield, IL – $26,169
Project Director:  Kristi Lessen             Phone: (217) 545-7493       E-Mail: klessen@siumed.edu
Grant Title:       Mammogram Mondays
Mammogram Mondays will occur each Monday in October to encourage women to get a free mammogram, specifically targeting those ages 40-74, living in rural areas, under-insured, Hispanic, and immigrants in our communities. The Regional Cancer Partnership (RCP) seeks to improve breast cancer outcomes through low or no cost screening, education programs, and support services. A process evaluation will be provided to the participants in order to assess the effectiveness of the program, along with a RCP meeting to evaluate the program overall.

Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University, Springfield, IL – $3,676
Project Director:  Kristi Lessen             Phone: (217) 545-7493       E-Mail: klessen@siumed.edu
Grant Title:       Restoring Female Sexuality After Cancer Treatment
Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU Medicine is intending to host a speaker on Restoring Female Sexuality After Cancer Treatment at Southern Illinois University’s School of Medicine’s 16th Annual Women’s Health Conference, on October 3, 2018. Judy Kneece is the author of the Breast Cancer Treatment Handbook, which is being given to breast cancer patients in Central Illinois.  She has authored over 40 national journal articles on breast health navigation and breast health strategic planning for breast care services. The theme for this year’s conference is “The Challenges of Women’s Healthcare.” The Women’s Health Conference averages 140 participants, which range from physicians, advanced practice nurses, professional counselors/clinical counselors, professional counselors/clinical counselors, and other health professionals.

Illinois Public Health Association, Springfield, IL – $40,773
Project Director:  Patricia Canessa, MD Phone:  (312) 203-9468 E-Mail:      pcanessam@yahoo.com
Grant Title:       Good Health in African Communities
Since 2011, a significant amount of African workers was recruited by the food processing industry in countries of West Africa. They settled in Cass and neighboring counties. This wave of 4,000 young adults mainly speak French and native languages. African countries are significantly impacted by communicable diseases and cancer due to lack of health care resources and exposure to conditions that cause cancer. Reports from WHO show that 84 of all breast cancer cases are diagnosed at stage 4, and it is the leading cause of female mortality in the majority of African countries. Therefore, African immigrants present a linguistic and cultural challenge in preventing late breast cancer diagnosis and care as they transition to the American culture. The project will educate 250 African women through NJEMA AFYA, a newly-designed evidence-based practice to be delivered by African Public Health students in social venues where the designated population concentrates.

Montgomery County Health Department, Hillsboro, IL – $22,083
Project Director:  Kayla Hilt                  Phone:  (217)532-2001       E-Mail:  mchdkayla@outlook.com
Grant Title:  Montgomery County Health Department Breast and Cervical Cancer Program
The program will help to provide limited financial assistance to breast cancer patients who demonstrate a strong financial need. The key activities will include assistance in paying for co-pays, deductibles, prescription medications, gasoline for travel, special equipment, house loan payment or rent, or other unusual special expenses. No payment will be made directly to the cancer patients. Vendors will be paid directly by MCHD.  Also, one maximum award will be paid to a patient in a 12-month period. Evaluation methods will include tracking the number of breast cancer patients requesting and qualifying for assistance. Also tracking what expenses are most requested to receive assistance with. The anticipated change for our community is for more breast cancer patients to actively seek treatment knowing that some financial burden will be relieved by this program. This will also potentially alleviate a portion of the psychological stress associated with cancer treatment.

Sangamon County Medical Society and Alliance Foundation, Springfield, IL – $20,000
Project Director:  Ozma Rahman          Phone:  (217) 726-5106      E-Mail:  ozma@scmsdocs.org
Grant Title: Patient Financial Assistance
The funds awarded through the grant will go to support patients through gas vouchers, food vouchers, medical supplies, rental assistance, and etc. Some patients living in the outer counties and driving over an hour back and forth for daily radiation treatments.  The medical facilities in Sangamon have stated many times how appreciative they are for the funds received for their patients.  SIU, Springfield Clinic, HSHS St. John’s Hospital and Memorial Medical Center have all requested assistance for their patients. Expected results include easing the stress for patients and assuring the community of the great work being provided because of Komen.

Mammograms Save Lives License Plate Grantees

Fulton County Health Department, Canton, IL – $5,000
Project Director:  Amy Edwards           Phone: (309) 647-1134 x248   E-Mail:  aedwards@fultonco.org
Grant Title:  Education, Screening, Barrier Reduction Assistance
Fulton County Health Department will utilize funding to improve client access to screening. Emphasis will be placed on uninsured rural women between the ages of 40 to 49 years of age living in the county. Health department staff routinely promote breast cancer awareness by providing education and appropriate referrals. Our nurse practitioner provides clinical breast exams and one on one education to clients during clinic appointment. Age appropriate women are referred for mammograms and screened for financial need. Eligible women will be scheduled for a mammogram at a local facility of their choice and given a voucher to cover the visit. A voucher system is in place to financially assist clients. Each client will be monitored from the initial contact to the completion of screening services. If follow-up is needed, staff will assist client with additional vouchers for their diagnostic care and case manage them to ensure that they are receiving appropriate care/referrals.

Illinois Public Health Association, Springfield, IL – $29,733
Project Director:  Patricia Canessa, MD Phone:  (312) 203-9468     E-Mail: pcanessa@yahoo.com
Grant Title:  AMIGAS- Hispanic Women Early Intervention Program
Latina and women of color experience lesser incidence and prevalence of breast cancer in comparison with white women but largely exceed their counterpart ‘s mortality rates. These health disparities are supported by research that points to fundamental factors such as education (about risks and symptoms), transportation and ability to financially afford healthcare. Despite healthcare reform, 36 of Hispanic women over (and 27 under) the age of 45 remain without insurance in Illinois. Furthermore, recent Public Charge policies are discouraging immigrant and documented resident groups to seek the proper nutrition, health screenings and other benefits that prevent delayed diagnosis and care.

Lake County Health Department, Waukegan, IL – $7,300
Project Director:  Vianey Casillas         Phone:  (847) 377-8405      E-Mail:  vcasillas@lakecountyil.gov
Grant Title:  Breast Cancer Screening Program for Lake County Women Ages 40-49
With Komen Memorial funds, the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center will provide breast cancer screening to uninsured women who are 40-49 years old and live in Lake County.  The women who participate in the screening program will receive an initial mammogram screening as well as coordination of care to ensure follow-up for abnormal results.  Studies have shown that early detection is the best way to decrease mortality and morbidity caused by breast cancer and that the risk of developing breast cancer begins to rise after the age of 40.  Funding from Komen Memorial creates access for uninsured women between 40-49 years of age.  Otherwise, these women would have to postpone services until age 50 due to limitations in other available funding sources.  As an access-oriented project, LCHD tracks the number of participants who benefit from Komen funding as well as screening and follow-up outcomes for these women.

Livingston County Health Department, Pontiac, IL – $7,000
Project Director:  Erin Fogarty              Phone:  (815) 844-7174 x238           E-Mail:  efogarty@lchd.us
Grant Title:       Livingston County PINK Grant
The lack of transportation and rural setting of Livingston County makes access to health screenings difficult for residents. Gas cards would help to reduce the barrier of transportation to and from breast cancer screenings, and community and provider education would increase knowledge of the importance of screenings and supportive services available. Target populations to be served are Livingston County women between the ages 40-64 who need mammograms or diagnostic services.

McDonough County Health Department, Macomb, IL – $9,549
Project Director:  Kerri Allen                Phone: (309) 837-9951      E-Mail:  kallen@mchdep.com
Grant Title:  Breast Cancer Education, Screening and Diagnostic Services
Our project will focus on rural, low income, no insurance women who will receive one on one or group education, no cost screening mammograms and diagnostic services.  We plan to educate 250+ women on the warning signs of breast cancer, the importance of screening, healthy lifestyle choices, and of the screening or diagnostic services.  Our plan is to work with women who come in to our health department for other services encouraging breast health awareness. Also, to provide assistance to women who need services.  We will also work with women outside our health department at various events that we attend for educational purposes as well as working closely with our providers to ensure they are continuing to refer women who need services and qualify for our program.  During discussions with women on warning signs, and breast health services, we will also find out about barriers to services and offer assistance for travel to appointments.

Montgomery County Health Department, Hillsboro, IL – $2,075
Project Director:  Kayla Hilt                  Phone: (217) 532-2001       E-Mail:  mchdkayla@outlook.com
Grant Title:  Montgomery County Health Department Breast and Cervical Cancer Program
The purpose of the program is to assist women with the cost of traveling to screening and diagnostic services. Evaluation methods will include tracking the number of women served through the program, as well as client surveys that are sent out following receipt of services. The expected change in the communities is that the financial burden of traveling to receive needed services will be lessened. The counties served with this funding will be Calhoun, Champaign, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Edwards, Effingham, Gallatin, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Lawrence, Macoupin, McLean, Monroe, Montgomery, Moultrie, Perry, Randolph, Richland, Saline, Vermillion, Wabash, White, and Williamson.

Stephenson County Health Department, Freeport, IL – $5,000
Project Director:  Holly Calcaterra        Phone:  (815) 599-8420  E-Mail: holly.calcaterra@aeroinc.net
Grant Title:  Early Detection Saves Lives
This project will provide low income, uninsured women, ages 40-49 the opportunity to have a screening mammogram for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer.  The Well Woman Program of the Stephenson County Health Department currently targets women between the ages of 50-64 in the counties of Stephenson, JoDaviess, Lee, Ogle and Carroll through the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP).  Komen funding would provide us with the means to offer these Life Saving Services to women ages 40-49.  Our goal would be to provide 10-3D screening mammograms and 30 – Digital Screening mammograms for a total of 40 mammograms.  We will monitor our efficiency by sending all patients an evaluation form after services have been rendered.  We really appreciate the Komen funds to continue to provide services for our younger population in need.

Tazewell County Health Department, Tremont, IL – $37,024
Project Director:  Kim Gudzinskas       Phone:  (309) 925-5511      E-Mail:  kgudzinskas@tchd.net
Grant Title:  No Excuses
Tazewell County Health Department’s (TCHD) “No Excuses” program will provide breast health education to women in the counties of Marshall, Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford.  We will provide breast screenings and diagnostics to at least 50 uninsured or under insured women. We will continue to focus on women living in the rural areas of the communities. We will also focus on Black or African- American women and Hispanic/Latino women who would otherwise not receive breast health education and/or screenings.  We will continue to partner with UnityPoint Health to provide our annual Free Mammogram Day.  We will work to decrease the barriers of lack of transportation and access for women in all 4 counties which increases the number of women being screened. Client and provider surveys, evaluations, and quality assurance are a few methods of how we will measure outcomes.

UnityPoint Health – Methodist/Proctor Foundation, Peoria, IL – $9,810
Project Director:  Teresa Pheasant       Phone:  (309) 672-5781      E-Mail:  Teresa.pheasant@unitypoint.org
Grant Title:  UnityPoint Health Breast Screening and Diagnostics
Breast Cancer disparities are differences in breast cancer outcomes among specific populations groups. These groups may include those characterized by race/ethnicity, religion, or nationality, socioeconomic status, age, geography, or disability. These are many reasons for the disparities in breast cancer outcomes in these populations. However, differences in the prevalence of established breast cancer risk factors, as well as barriers to quality care are often responsible. Barriers to quality care that may lead to disparities in breast cancer outcomes are: financial and economic, language and cultural, communication, health care systems, transportation, biases, fear. Activities: Identification, improved access, screenings and diagnostic services. Number served: 200 mammography exams and 100 diagnostic services with guidance from a Breast Health Navigator. Outcome: 95 patient satisfaction via system-wide survey.

VNA Healthcare, Aurora, IL – $24,966
Project Director:  Tammy Pruitt            Phone:  (630) 892-4355      E-Mail:  tpruitt@vnahealth.com
Grant Title:  Breast Cancer Screening for Women in Need
VNA is seeking funding to provide 240 screening mammograms to low-income, under-served women that would otherwise not receive this vital preventive care.  This would be accomplished by screening under- and uninsured women aged 40-50 who do not qualify for IBCCP and those that qualify but have been placed on a wait list due to significant funding cuts within the IBCCP program.  Komen support would ensure that these high-risk women could be referred by VNA Providers for a mammogram and women with abnormal results would then receive diagnostic services and treatment, if necessary, through the IBCCP program. Women who do not qualify for this coverage will be referred for charitable care at area hospitals for breast cancer treatment. Timely navigation, education and support will be provided by culturally competent VNA case managers specialized in breast cancer prevention and care. This program reduces outcome disparities and increases access to care for the vulnerable women served.

Winnebago County Health Department, Rockford, IL – $4,260
Project Director:  Joy Green                 Phone:   (815) 720-7252     E-Mail:  jgreen@wchd.org
Grant Title:  Screening Mammograms
The project provides free screening services for 30 low income, uninsured women. Eligible women are referred to the program through self-referral and referral by health care providers. There will be intensive collaboration with participating health care agencies and ongoing efforts to recruit new providers. The IBCCP coalition group, which consists of several agencies in the three county area, meets every three months to identify and problem solve ways to increase the number of women who receive screening services. The project’s evaluation information will be compiled on a comprehensive electronic spreadsheet, to track the accomplishment of the defined goals. This project is a vital part of meeting our organizations mission, and collaborations with multiple agencies in Winnebago, Boone and Dekalb counties. With early detection, diagnosis, and treatment for breast cancer, the program will improve the health of the communities, by enhancing the quality of life of its residents.