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Avon Foundation gives $100,000 for breast cancer resources

Posted on Thursday, May 01, 2014 · Volume: XLVII · Issue: 9

Eloise Caggiano (left), Avon Walk for Breast Cancer program director, presents an oversized check for $100,000 to Sandra Costilla (right), a patient navigator at the Institute for Health Promotion Research.
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Eloise Caggiano (left), Avon Walk for Breast Cancer program director, presents an oversized check for $100,000 to Sandra Costilla (right), a patient navigator at the Institute for Health Promotion Research.clear graphic

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Contact Cliff Despres, 210-562-6517

SAN ANTONIO (April 24, 2014) — Minority women have low breast cancer screening rates.

And even if they are screened, they delay confirming the diagnosis and beginning treatment because of costs, cultural and language issues, and competing responsibilities.

Patient navigator program
That’s why Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H. is offering the Navegando Salud (Navigating Health) patient navigator program. The program trains bilingual, bicultural community health workers to offer breast cancer screenings, education and other services to women in South Texas.

Dr. Ramirez is a professor and director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, which is offering the program.

$100,000 grant
Navegando Salud just received a one-year, $100,000 grant from the Avon Foundation. The grant was among 10 announced at the 12th Annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Houston April 13.

Preventing and curing cancer
“Every grant moves us closer toward our goal of a world without breast cancer,” said Eloise Caggiano, a breast cancer survivor and program director of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

Patient navigation has proven to remove barriers to screening, promote timely diagnosis and treatment, and improve outcomes for medically underserved cancer patients, Ramirez said.

Navegando Salud aims to:
  • remove barriers to access timely, high-quality breast cancer care;
  • facilitate seamless patient-centered, multidisciplinary care;
  • educate patients about the importance of early detection and following the treatment plan; and
  • provide community outreach and education in high-need areas to promote cancer screening and healthy behaviors to reduce women’s breast cancer risk.
“Our navigators will tailor their services to each patient’s needs to improve patients’ quality of life and satisfaction with the breast health care received during their cancer journey,” Ramirez said. “We want the best outcome possible for patients and their families.”

Navegando Salud team
Other IHPR faculty and staff members who were involved in developing the program were Patricia Chalela, Dr.P.H., assistant professor; and Sandra Costilla and Armida Flores, who are patient navigators.

In accepting an oversized check symbolizing the Avon Foundation grant, Costilla said, “Thank you Avon walkers and crew! Your donations will help support our Navegando Salud navigator program offering one-on-one counseling to 250 women in one of the highest-risk zip codes in South Texas, and will provide screening for thousands of women to get them into treatment faster. On behalf of all of those women, thank you.”

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 29,000 graduates. The $765.2 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.

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