Collaboration for a Cure
By Christine Mack, Development Officer
Treatment for Breast Cancer Requires Collaboration
It is no secret that the key to fighting cancer is collaboration. No one entity can do it alone. It takes networks of hundreds, even thousands of committed individuals dedicated to researching and developing treatment for breast cancer and other types of cancer. For breast cancer, Komen is at the forefront of this fight.
So it is no surprise that Komen is also out in front when it comes to providing funding for treatment of breast cancer right here in our own community. Komen awarded Firelands Regional Medical Center a community grant in 2012 and has continued its funding, in part, because of a collaborative effort not only between Komen and Firelands, but also with Cancer Services of Erie County.
In 2016, Firelands teamed up with Cancer Services of Erie County to gain Komen funding for important treatment for breast cancer patients in our county. This partnership ensures that services were not being duplicated and that patients are receiving the resources they need, when they need them, from the organization best equipped to provide the services.
“Cancer is devastating,” says Peg Miller, Executive Director of Cancer Services of Erie County. “People with breast cancer need an array of support services that we can provide, in part, because of the funding provided by the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the collaboration with Firelands Regional Medical Center. We are a small nonprofit, and I’m proud that we have a partner in one of the most highlyesteemed medical institutions in the area.”
The Komen grant provides funding for men and women who are financially qualified to receive free breast cancer screenings, including mammograms, as well as diagnostic screenings, biopsies, treatment and survivorship through Firelands Regional Medical Center.
“Komen has always placed great emphasis on the grantee organizations we collaborate with,” says Mary Westphal, Executive Director of Susan G. Komen® Northwest Ohio. “Komen makes a lot of very important advancements in the fight against breast cancer. Organizations like Firelands Regional Medical Center act as our ‘boots on the ground’ and help us to fulfill our mission in the community. Without grantees like Firelands and Cancer Services of Erie County, it would be much harder for us to help the women who live and work in our communities.”
Westphal has seen the relationship between the three entities grow over the years and has been witness to the good done in our region because of the collaboration.
“We rely on our grantees to do the work that is so important to our mission and by collaborating with other nonprofit organizations, Komen is able to stretch our dollars and help a greater number of people,” says Westphal. “That is why Komen is now placing an emphasis on granting funding to those organizations who are working together.”
Firelands Regional Medical Center provides free screenings throughout the year for men and women who do not have insurance or whose insurance will not cover a screening. Yet, these dates are not always convenient for everyone. That’s why Firelands also offers self-referral mammogram appointments, meaning you don’t have to wait for a free screening date that meets your needs.
“We know that people are very busy, and we want people to get screened,” says Director of Community Outreach Angela Brickner, “so, we are eliminating the time and financial barrier. If you think you need a mammogram, even if you don’t have insurance or your insurance doesn’t cover it, you can call and schedule a mammogram. We are so fortunate to have funding through Komen and through The Foundation for Firelands to pay for mammography and other breast health services for those in need.”
By making a concerted effort to work with local social and community organizations like churches, women’s groups and schools, Firelands Regional Medical Center is making a difference in the lives of our community. Through its partnership with Komen of Northwest Ohio, Firelands is able to help even more people.
“The mission of Komen is to someday live in a world where breast cancer doesn’t exist,” says Westphal. “Our grantee organizations play a significant role in this mission and we are proud to award places like Firelands the funding to help save lives right here in our own community.”
Do you need a mammogram?
Learn more about our mammography services and treatment for breast cancer, or call 419-557-7840 to schedule your mammogram today.