Summary of Target Issues

Through our Community Profile, we have identified the following target issues for Western New York

1. Decrease disparities in care by increasing availability and access to breast health education and screenings 

Medically under-served women in Komen’s service area, especially African-American and Hispanic/Latina populations in Erie County and residents of the rural counties of Cattaraugus, Allegany are Wyoming, are significantly less likely to be diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Diagnoses at later stages of breast cancer have proven to increase mortality rates. A lack of appropriate breast health knowledge inhibits many women in the target communities from recognizing the importance of breast screening and early detection. In all areas studied, fear of testing and of the results was a prevalent deterrent for many women from seeking services. Increasing availability of breast health information that is culturally sensitive can aid in reducing fears and improving breast screening rates.There is also a lack of consistency among providers in proactively communicating Komen-approved breast health recommendations.

Komen seeks to fund evidence-based, culturally sensitive programs focusing on education and that are proactive in the screening of women, especially in the inner city of Buffalo and in rural areas within our service area. We also will prioritize programs seeking to educate and assure providers will communicate Komen’s breast health recommendations about screenings.           

2. Decrease barriers to screening, diagnosis and treatment by increasing access to transportation

Financial and transportation barriers are consistent issues that people face in accessing quality breast health services. The distance to screening facilities and treatment services makes accessing breast health care difficult for many. This is also true for the survivor populations in the target areas.Inconvenient locations require travel of great distances to screening and treatment sites, leaving residents of the area often unable to afford the cost of travel. Gas prices and frequency of travel for treatment are a concern, particularly for rural communities where inconvenient locations require women to travel great distances for breast health services, and public transportation was not always a reliable alternative.Komen seeks to fund programs that address transportation barriers to breast cancer screening and treatment services in both urban and rural areas of Western New York.

3. Increase Patient Navigation and Support Services

A patient navigator guides patients through and around barriers within the cancer care system to help ensure timely diagnosis and treatment, and support patients in a confidential and respectful manner in addressing the barriers described in the previous two funding priorities.Patient navigation services are a valuable resource for patients transitioning through the Breast Cancer Continuum of Care.  Though some health-care institutions within the service area offer patient navigation at the screening level, the availability of services is limited.Support for individuals and navigation through the complex health-care systems is lacking in the service area, particularly for screening and pre-diagnosis. There is also a lack of support for breast cancer survivors.

Komen is looking to fund programs that address the lack of patient navigation services and support groups, especially in the target areas.

Grant applications that address one or more of the above target issues will receive priority in the review process. More information on our target issues can be found in the Community Profile.

Community Profile

The Community Profile is a needs assessment document that provides an overview of Komen’s grant-making priorities and the breast health needs in our service area. Please familiarize yourself with this document before developing your applications.

Click here to view the Community Profile.