Komen Greater CETX Invests More than $1 Million to Fight Breast Cancer

Eight Central and East Texas organizations receive critical funding

(AUSTIN, TYLER, & WACO, TX) – May 20, 2020 – Susan G. Komen® Greater Central and East Texas has announced funding to address the needs of the region’s most vulnerable community members undergoing breast cancer treatment during the pandemic. This funding, to eight community healthcare partners, brings Komen’s mission investment to over $1 million for the past year. Komen’s commitment to breast cancer patients across Central and East Texas is delivered through a unique 360-degree approach to fighting the disease on all fronts. This includes funding lifesaving research, advocating for compassionate public policy, offering screening and treatment assistance, and providing trustworthy breast cancer information and patient navigation.

“With the current health and economic crisis, and more than 750 people continuing to be diagnosed every day in the U.S., it is more critical than ever to be there for breast cancer patients, including survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer,” said Jeannine O’Deens, executive director of Komen Greater CETX. “We are so grateful to our longstanding partners, donors, and fundraisers for their continued trust in Komen to deliver mission—especially in the current COVID-19 landscape, which has only increased the challenges for local breast cancer patients. We want patients and families to know we are there for them no matter where they live or work. They are counting on us.”

The advent of COVID-19 has posed increased challenges to those living with breast cancer: the virus threatens those with immune systems weakened by chemotherapy; routine cancer screenings and non-essential surgeries have been postponed; and families face unemployment and loss of health insurance.

Eight local organizations received a total of $164,000 in funding from Komen Greater CETX for 2020 to provide an estimated 2,400 services to breast cancer patients, survivors, and those living with metastatic breast cancer, with a particular focus on working with underinsured, uninsured, and other medically underserved individuals. An independent panel reviewed applications using as a guide a Komen-funded community profile that identified areas of greatest need of breast health services in Central and East Texas. The grantees are:

Organization Services Provided with This Funding Counties Served with This Funding
Breast Cancer Resource Center patient navigation; treatment support Bastrop, Bell, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, Williamson
Bridge Breast Network patient navigation and referrals; screening and diagnostic breast health services; surgical and radiation treatment; culture-specific breast cancer education and training Ellis, Kaufman, Navarro, Smith, Van Zandt
Cherokee County Department of Public Health patient navigation, reduction in barriers to care, breast care education, co-pay assistance, mammography Anderson, Cherokee, Ellis, Henderson, Kaufman, Smith, Van Zandt
CommUnity Care patient navigation; diagnostic screenings Bastrop, Caldwell, Travis, Williamson
Meals on Wheels Central Texas In-home Care in-home care for breast cancer patients; patient navigation Bastrop, Hays, Travis, Williamson
Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) mammography, patient navigation, reduction in barriers to care, transportation assistance, breast cancer education Cherokee, Smith, Van Zandt, Wood
Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas clinical breast exams, screening and diagnostic mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsies, and one-on-one education Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, McLennan, Travis, Williamson


UT Southwestern Moncrief Cancer Center patient navigation, treatment, and support; breast cancer education; mobile mammography Bell, Bosque, Ellis, Henderson, Hill, Kaufman, McLennan, Navarro

Additionally, Komen’s toll-free helpline (1-877 GO KOMEN) assists breast cancer patients with support and resources including support groups, clinical trial information, and financial support through its Treatment Assistance Program.

Of the more than $1 million invested by Komen Greater CETX this year, more than $560,000 funded local education, patient navigation services, and health equity and coalition initiatives, including plans to re-establish mobile mammography services to strategically address gaps in access to care; and advocacy efforts, such as Komen’s work that led to the passage of Texas House Bill 170, which eliminated out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic mammograms for women across Texas. Additionally, Komen Greater CETX contributed more than $240,000 this year into Komen’s global research program to focus increased attention on metastatic breast cancer, eliminate disparities in outcomes, and advance the use of technology to improve patient care and save lives.