For the seventh straight year, local organizations will receive more than $1 million for use towards breast cancer education, screenings, and treatment initiatives. The Pittsburgh Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure said that the $1.8 million in grants is the largest amount handed out at one time in the history of the affiliate.
Kathy Purcell, executive director of the local chapter, said a large proportion of the money will go to the Mammogram Voucher Program (MVP). Through the MVP, Adagio Health provides women in need with free mammograms and follow-up services.
The grant money will also support several other organizations in the affiliate's 30-county service area. "Some of them are to improve transportation for patients to get to appointments for their treatments," said Purcell. "One is teleconferencing, which allows patients from outlying areas to get the recommendations of a physician in this area who's an expert in breast treatment."
Purcell said that the money comes from contributions made to Komen throughout the year. She said that Race for the Cure, a walk/run held annually on Mother's Day, is their largest fundraising event of the year.
Purcell said breast cancer education is extremely important. "Pennsylvania actually has the 6th highest mortality rate for breast cancer in the country. And so, the idea is that while we haven't found the cure yet, we do know that early detection is what saves lives," said Purcell. "So for us, the education about early detection is very important. And then to be able to back that up with other monies that will then fund mammograms, we consider to be the whole package."