On Thursday, July 12, the Codman Square Health Center was awarded a $100,000 grant from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the New England Patriots to address disparities in breast cancer mortality that exist among women of color.
“This center provides high-quality care to 23,000 patients every year and 90 percent of those patients are black or African-American,” said Kris Kim, an executive vice president at the American Cancer Society (ACS).
“The largest portion of the black-white breast cancer mortality disparity is because of treatment inequalities for estrogen receptor positive disease, which is the subtype with the most available treatment option,” said Kim. “So we know we have to do better.”
Kim said the grant “will support this facility in its efforts to increase its cancer screening rate from 76 percent to 86 percent” by providing access to breast cancer screening, follow-up to abnormal mammograms and access to specialty care.
Codman Square Health Center’s chief executive, Sandra Cotterell, said that she would like to see the number of patients screened to 100 percent, but “it’s a journey and the barriers that these women face —whether it is concerns about cost, language, or transportation — those are real barriers.”
Cotterell said the facility will use the grant to kickstart their education campaign, translate materials, and “to not only outreach people by phone, but using technology like texting to develop regular and consistent communication.”
“The most crucial thing in the world for cancer prevention and that’s access to screening,” said Josh Kraft, president of the New England Patriots Foundation. “We are thrilled any time the Patriots can be included in our community and we can help provide access to first-class treatment, especially with something so vital as cancer detection.”
This year, the National Football League awarded $3.2 million in grant funding to 32 health systems across the country, with each clinic receiving $100,000 over the course of two years. Since 2009, Kim said the league has donated $18 million has been used towards screenings that “ensured that 632,000 women who likely otherwise would not have received.”