$150,000 grant supports a community service partnership of the Monroe County Health Department and Strong Memorial ED

Komen funding aids breast health education and outreach efforts

October 27, 2000

As people across the country observe National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Center for the Study of Rochester's Health is collaborating with the Strong Memorial Hospital Emergency Department to provide breast health education, outreach and screening for women visiting the ED.

The ED-based project is made possible by a $150,000, two-year grant from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, a national organization fighting to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening and treatment.

"This important funding from the Komen Foundation supports the partnering of two institutions in the service of the community, allowing us to offer primary health care referrals, as well as education about breast cancer, to minority and underserved women," says Nancy M. Bennett, M.D., M.S., the study's principal investigator and director of the Center.

Research suggests that emergency department visitors are often in need of primary and preventive health care, according to Sandra Schneider, M.D., the study's co-principal investigator and chair of the University of Rochester's Department of Emergency Medicine. "In fact," she explains, "we estimate that as least 10 percent of the population we see does not get adequate preventive care from a primary care physician."

During the study, ED staff members who are specially trained to enroll patients in research projects will approach women age 40 and older who visit the ED with non-urgent conditions. The staff will conduct brief surveys on primary care, screening and health beliefs, and record data on other patient characteristics from the medical record. Eligible women who are in need of screening or primary care will be referred to the Women's Health Partnership, a community program of the Center for the Study of Rochester's Health, for outreach, enrollment in services and follow-up.

According to Schneider, "This is an exciting opportunity for us to lend the services of dedicated Strong ED staff members in collaboration with an innovative and important community health improvement and research initiative."

The Center, a formal partnership of the Monroe County Health Department and the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry and School of Nursing, aims to improve the health of local residents through community-based programs and research. Currently, the Center receives approximately $1 million in grants per year for community health research and service projects.

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died of breast cancer at the age of 36. From its inception through the end of fiscal year 1998, the Foundation raised more than $214 million for breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment programs across the country. The Foundation runs one of the most innovative, responsive grant programs in breast cancer today, having awarded more than $45 million.

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Karin Christensen
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