$27 Million Advanced for Health Equity
Salerno said today that a private foundation is donating $27 million for a program to significantly reduce what she called the "appalling" difference in death rates between African-American and white women in U.S. cities. African-American women are nearly 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than white women; in some cities, that gap is as high as 74 percent.
"This constitutes a public health crisis that must be addressed, first in the cities where these death rates are highest, and then in all areas of the country," Salerno said.
Komen's African-American Health Equity Initiative targets 10 metropolitan areas where mortality rates and late-stage diagnosis of African-American women are highest. The goal: to reduce the mortality gap by 25 percent within five years of beginning work in each city.
The initial areas include Memphis, Tenn., St. Louis, Mo., Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Washington, D.C., Virginia Beach, Va., and Philadelphia. Baltimore and Detroit have been identified as high priority areas as the program expands over the next year.
The African-American Health Equity Initiative supplements the work that Komen and its network of 100 U.S. Affiliates already are doing to remove barriers to cancer care. Komen and Komen Affiliates support thousands of local programs that provide screenings, treatment assistance, emergency financial aid, medical supplies and living expense for underserved individuals.