6th Annual Power of the Promise – May 3, 2015

Web Banner Large_Power of the Promise 2015You’re invited to the 6th Annual Power of the Promise luncheon – an afternoon of celebration, inspiration and education.

We know you won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit the great new and returning booths at the vendor expo, bid on raffle baskets and enjoy the live music. Plus, Bridget DuMont and Ben DuMont, 2013 Susan G. Komen National Co-Survivor of the Year, will share the story of their breast cancer journey.

Tickets are $25. To buy your ticket, click here. Space is limited. We look forward to seeing you there!

Questions? Contact Bree DeGraw, bdegraw@komenstlouis.org or 314.569.3900

Local Impact: Susan G. Komen® St. Louis

SGK_NBCAM_2014_LocalImpactOn a Mission Every Day to Save Lives and End Breast Cancer

Susan G. Komen® St. Louis is on a mission to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.

St_%20Louis_SGK JPEG

Komen St. Louis serves 17 counties in eastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois.

Since 1999, Komen St. Louis has stayed focused on this core mission and on meeting the breast health needs of the women, men and families most at risk and most in need right here in our community.

Through fundraising events like the Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure® and other year-round fundraising opportunities, Komen St. Louis has invested more than $39 million in the fight against breast cancer. These dollars are at work every day.

Seventy-five percent of the net funds raised here stay in the St. Louis region to fund breast health and breast cancer screening, education and patient navigation programs. The remaining 25 percent funds cutting-edge global breast cancer research, including research being done in St. Louis.

Local Dollars Making a Local Impact

Since 1999, Komen St. Louis has awarded more than $29 million in grants to local organizations that deliver life-saving breast health services to those who may not otherwise have access due to low income, lack of insurance or other barriers.

Komen St. Louis has supported dozens of local organizations offering breast health and breast cancer services to underserved and uninsured women – including free mammograms, breast health education and navigation through the health care system.

Investing in Breast Cancer Research Here at Home

Komen St. Louis has contributed more than $9 million to breast cancer research since 1999. At the same time, more than $20 million raised here and nationwide has come back to St. Louis research facilities.

That means more than 100 percent of the dollars raised here has remained in and returned to the St. Louis region.

We can only do this work with the support of our community. Thank you to everyone who joins us in our mission throughout the year!

We’re celebrating National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Connect with and follow Komen St. Louis and use the hashtag #bcjourney to join in the conversation.

Local Impact: Susan G. Komen® Affiliate Network

SGK_NBCAM_2014_LocalImpactKomen Community Outreach

The Susan G. Komen® Affiliate Network is the nation’s largest private funder of community-based breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment programs. No other breast cancer organization has this extensive network of grassroots volunteers and staff.

The 117 Komen Affiliates in the U.S. serve more than 18,000 communities across the country. More than 75,000 Komen volunteers and staff work throughout the year to save lives from breast cancer. They raise funds for breast cancer research as well as local breast health and breast cancer services for those who need it most.

Affiliate Community Health Programs

Komen Affiliates are local: they live in the community, they study the community, and they work with local medical experts and community leaders to fund programs that are right for their areas. Seventy-five percent of net funds raised by local Komen Affiliates fund breast health programs in the communities where they were donated.

These local programs aim to change behaviors and increase access to early detection and quality treatment. Programs range from access to breast health services to education, screening, diagnosis and treatment programs, as well as support for survivors and their loved ones.

Komen Affiliates strive to:

  • improve breast health outcomes for all people everywhere.
  • understand the communities’ breast health needs and the current resources available.
  • fund effective programs and services that meet the identified needs based on priority.
  • provide communities with breast cancer knowledge, tools and resources to empower them to take action.
  • evaluate, learn from and communicate program results and impact.
  • leverage relationships and build strategic partnerships.

Local Focus, Local Impact

Through thoughtful and strategic partnerships and coalition building, Komen Affiliates work to provide their communities with seamless access to breast health services.

Komen’s Community Health approach is designed to reduce breast cancer mortality in communities throughout the United States.

We’re celebrating National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Connect with and follow Komen St. Louis and use the hashtag #bcjourney to join in the conversation.

Race for the Cure Participants Support Breast Cancer Research, Services and Education in St. Louis

Siteman Cancer Center is fighting breast cancer on multiple fronts, thanks in part to the $20 million in grants Susan G. Komen® has awarded to Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital researchers and clinicians since 2008.

This funding is aiding the search for improved drug therapies, increasing access to breast screenings and educating women in the St. Louis area about breast health.

Cynthia Ma, MD, PhD

Cynthia Ma, MD, PhD

The impact can’t be underestimated, said Cynthia Ma, MD, PhD. Last year, Komen awarded her a four-year, $1 million grant aimed at improving drug therapies for breast cancer patients by fine-tuning how investigational drugs are tested.

“With Komen’s help, we intend to learn how to better select patients for clinical trials, based on their tumor types, so we can determine which drugs work best for each person,” said Ma, an associate professor of medicine and a Siteman research member.

The grant also is funding a more personalized approach to treating women with triple-negative breast cancer, one of the most aggressive forms of the disease.

Ma shares the grant with Shunqiang Li, PhD, a Washington University research instructor and Siteman research associate member. Matthew Ellis, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and leader of Siteman’s Breast Cancer Research Program, is a collaborator. Their project builds on past Komen-funded research at Washington University School of Medicine.

Anyone can contribute to the 16th Annual Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure, to be held June 14. Since 1999, local Race participants have raised tens of millions of dollars to fight breast cancer. What they might not know is how much their contributions have assisted screening, research and other efforts in St. Louis.

Of the net proceeds raised from the local Race, 75 percent stays in St. Louis to help organizations such as Siteman provide breast cancer screening, education and other breast health services. For example, with Komen funds, Siteman has provided free mammograms to more than 3,200 underserved, low-income women per year.

Barnes_mammography van image“Komen’s help is essential in Siteman’s outreach efforts, and without them we simply would not be able to provide screening to the underserved at the levels we do,” said Susan Kraenzle, RN, manager of the Joanne Knight Breast Health Center at Washington University Medical Center.

Research grants are another way Race for the Cure registration fees and donations are put to work. Money raised at the Komen St. Louis Race and at Komen Race events nationwide has sent millions of dollars in Komen grants to Washington University scientists at Siteman.

Other such Komen-funded recipients aim to:

  • Develop a personalized breast cancer vaccine aimed at preventing recurrence of the disease. The project involves decoding the DNA of patients and identifying the differences between normal cells and cancer cells, then designing a vaccine for each patient using her own immune system to destroy the cancer cells. For the project, William Gillanders, MD, professor of surgery, received a $6.5 million Komen grant and is working with Elaine Mardis, PhD, co-director of The Genome Institute and the Robert E. and Louise F. Dunn Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the School of Medicine, and Ted Hansen, PhD, professor of pathology and immunology and of genetics.
  • Better identify which women with estrogen receptor-positive (ER-positive) breast cancer, the most common form of the disease, are at the highest risk of recurrence and to find more effective treatments for those individuals. Komen contributed a $4 million grant to the study by Ellis and co-recipients Mardis and Pascal Meier, PhD, of The Institute of Cancer Research in London.
  • Increase the number of area women who have been screened, and reduce the number who receive late-stage diagnoses. Services offered through the Breast Health Care for At-Risk Communities project include: education, outreach, diagnosis and referral to Siteman’s medical oncology navigator for support during treatment.

Race for the Cure participants in St. Louis and beyond make the grants possible.

“It moves me to see how our city turns out the way it does,” Kraenzle said. “I lost a sister to breast cancer, and I wish she were here to see this and know people are fighting for her and her kids.”

 

Race for a World Without Breast Cancer

Race Large Banner_2014Every day of the year, Susan G. Komen St. Louis stays focused on its mission: to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.

The inspiration for this mission is a promise made between two sisters.

Thirty years ago, Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Suzy Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise launched the global breast cancer movement. More than three decades later, Susan G. Komen® has changed how the world talks about breast cancer and is the only breast cancer organization attacking the disease on all fronts: in community outreach, research, education, advocacy and global work.

Here in St. Louis, Komen’s promise inspires the organization’s mission on a local level: meeting the breast health needs of the women, men and families in our community – especially those most in need and most at risk. Komen St. Louis funds local breast health and breast cancer programs serving those who may not otherwise have access due to low income, lack of insurance or other barriers. Komen St. Louis also helps to fund groundbreaking global breast cancer research, including research happening right now in St. Louis.

Seventy-five percent of the net funds raised through the Komen St. Louis Race stays in the St. Louis community to fund innovative breast health and breast cancer screening, education and patient navigation programs. The remaining 25 percent goes toward groundbreaking global breast cancer research programs. Since 1999, Komen St. Louis funding has supported dozens of local organizations providing breast health services to those who may not otherwise have access.

More than 100 percent of the funds invested by Komen St. Louis since 1999 has remained in or returned to the St. Louis region.

The Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure is one event, held on one day, that helps make possible this year-round work in support of our mission. Everyone who registers for the Race, makes a donation or helps to fundraise is making an impact in the fight against breast cancer.

On June 14, celebrate breast cancer survivors and honor those who have lost their battle with the disease. Help raise money for local breast health services and global breast cancer research. Help keep an important promise – a promise made between two sisters that now gives hope to so many. On June 14, let’s race for a world without breast cancer.

Join us for the 16th Annual Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure on Saturday, June 14. Visit www.komenstlouis.org.

Why do you race? Share your story: prstories@komenstlouis.org.

ADVOCACY ALERT: Let Your Voice Be Heard in Jefferson City

Susan G. Komen® St. Louis, as a member of The Missouri Coalition for Cancer Treatment Access (MCCTA), is supporting state legislation that would ensure cancer patients in Missouri have equal access to IV (intravenous) and oral chemotherapy.

MissouriFlagOral chemotherapies allow patients the ability to continue to work and contribute to the economy because these therapies are self-administered and often have fewer side effects. More than 25% of the 400 chemotherapy drugs currently in the development pipeline are oral therapies.

Intravenous chemotherapy treatments, which are covered as a medical benefit, require a flat insurance co-payment. However, because oral therapies are covered as a pharmacy benefit, patients can be charged up to 50% of the cost of the drug; this can mean hundreds or thousands of dollars paid out-of-pocket each month, even if the oral therapy is the only treatment available for their cancer.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION

Legislation has been proposed in both the Missouri State Senate and Missouri State House of Representatives to require health plans that cover cancer treatments to make the out-of-pocket expenses to patients equal. Please take action today to ensure these bills move forward.

Your voice is critical to ensure HB 1327/SB 663 or SB 668 become law this year. The process starts with the proposed legislation being sent to the committees that will allow a fair public hearing. With only a handful of days until the bills are referred to committee, the time to act is now.

TWO SIMPLE WAYS YOU CAN HELP TODAY

1. Please request that House Speaker, Representative Tim Jones, refer HB 1327 to the Special Standing Committee on Emerging Issues in Healthcare. This committee, chaired by Representative Todd Richardson, heard the bill during the 2013 legislative session.

Representative Jones can be reached at tim.jones@house.mo.gov or 573.751.0562.

Sample Email Text:

Dear Representative Jones,

As you are well aware, House Bill 1327, which would require oral therapy for cancer to be covered in a manner equal to that of IV treatment, is currently waiting to be assigned to a committee. This issue is critical to cancer patients in Missouri.

Please refer HB 1327 to the Special Standing Committee on Emerging Issues in Healthcare.

Thank you.

[Your Name]

2. Please request that Senate President Pro Tem, Senator Tom Dempsey, refer SB 663 and SB 668 to the Senate Small Business Insurance and Industry Committee, chaired by Senator Scott Rupp.

Senator Dempsey can be reached at tom.dempsey@senate.mo.gov or 573.751.1141.

Sample Email Text:

Dear Senator Dempsey,

As you are well aware, Senate Bills 663 and 668, which both require oral therapy for cancer to be covered in a manner equal to that of IV treatment, are currently waiting to be assigned to a committee. This issue is critical to cancer patients in Missouri.

Please refer these bills to the Senate Small Business Insurance and Industry Committee, chaired by Senator Scott Rupp.

Thank you.

[Your Name]

Thank you for your time supporting this effort.

Susan G. Komen Missouri Affiliates Visit Jefferson City as Part of Missouri Coalition for Cancer Treatment Access

Komen St. Louis joined with Komen Greater Kansas City and Komen Mid-Missouri in Jefferson City as part of the Missouri Coalition for Cancer Treatment Access’ support of oral chemotherapy parity legislation. This statewide patient advocacy coalition is calling on the Missouri Legislature to act on the proposed bill during the 2014 session.

Komen Kansas City’s Theresa Osenbaugh and Carli Good, Missouri State Rep. Sheila Solon, Komen St. Louis Executive Director Helen Chesnut, Komen Mid-Missouri Executive Director Kathy Adams  and Komen St. Louis’ Janet Vigen Levy in Jefferson City, MO on Jan. 15

Komen Kansas City’s Theresa Osenbaugh and Carli Good, Missouri State Rep. Sheila Solon, Komen St. Louis Executive Director Helen Chesnut, Komen Mid-Missouri Executive Director Kathy Adams and Komen St. Louis’ Janet Vigen Levy in Jefferson City, MO on Jan. 15

Read about the proposed legislation in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Here is text of the news release distributed by the Missouri Coalition for Cancer Treatment Access:

JEFFERSON CITY – On behalf of thousands of Missouri cancer patients, survivors and their families, the Missouri Coalition for Cancer Treatment Access, applauds the proposed state legislation that would give cancer patients access to the most effective cancer treatments and calls on the Legislature to pass the law in 2014.

Currently, cancer patients in Missouri are forced to choose between the chemotherapy that could save their lives or one that is fully covered by their insurance. The legislation proposed by Rep. Sheila Solon and Sens. Brian Munzlinger and Ryan Silvey would bring insurance coverage parity to both forms of chemotherapy – intravenous (IV) and pill form – simply requiring plans to have the same out-of-pocket costs for oral chemotherapy products if traditional chemotherapies are already covered.

Scientific advancements during the past several years have increased the availability and effectiveness of oral medications for cancer treatment. Up to 35 percent of all current drugs in the pipeline are oral treatments, adding new and less invasive alternatives to traditional intravenous (IV) chemotherapy infusions for treatment of at least 54 different types of cancer.

“In many cases, oral chemotherapy offers advantages important to overall quality of life for our patients and their caregivers, including the convenience of not having to travel several times a week for IV infusions that can take several hours each time,” said Debbie Kersting, executive director, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Gateway Chapter.

This flexibility is particularly important for people living in rural areas, who otherwise would have to travel long distances to the nearest treatment facility. In addition, these treatments allow patients the ability to continue to work and contribute to the economy because they are self-administered, and often have fewer side effects.

However, because oral cancer drugs in Missouri are covered as a pharmacy benefit, patients can be charged high co-insurances, up to 50 percent of the cost of the therapy, even if the oral drugs are the only treatment available. This can result in out-of-pocket costs of hundreds to thousands of dollars each month. Sadly, several studies show 25 percent of patients do not fill their initial prescriptions for cancer pills when the co-pays exceed $500.

“These patients are literally fighting for their lives and we should do everything we can to make certain that our insurance system treats them with compassion, respect and fairness. The specific treatment should be left to the patient and his or her doctor and devoid of financial pressure that result from unnecessary and archaic insurance coverage laws,” said Dr. Bruce J. Roth, professor of medicine, Washington University.

To date, 27 states and the District of Columbia have passed oral chemotherapy parity legislation to help equalize patient out-of-pocket costs, modernize health insurance and improve cancer care.