We are not there yet!
From the ED's Desk
Big change in the corporate foundation funding landscape.
Earlier this year I wrote that the community of non-profit organizations working to mitigate the burden of breast cancer in the Bay Area had learned that AVON was discontinuing its AVON 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer in San Francisco and around the country. You can read more details here. Then AVON"s The Breast Cancer Crusade appeared set to continue with an announcement of a partnership with The American Cancer Society. However AVON is not making grants at this time and no information has yet been made public as to when and how funding might resume.
Zero Breast Cancer continues to acknowledge the many years of generous support from AVON. ZBC has not received AVON funding since 2015-2016 but ongoing work on the GIrls' New Puberty campaign still benefits from significant AVON grant support that was invested in this campaign. We think its important to give credit where credit is due! Some exciting new aspects of the campaign are under construction and we will keep you posted in the fall. Hint; more materials in Spanish and also in Chinese.
Other Bay Area recipients of AVON support have also now received their last grants for the foreseeable future as far as they know. Again full credit to AVON for organizing these huge fundraising efforts and then giving back to a wide variety of programs and services related to breast cancer prevention, screening and treatment in the SF Bay Area. The needs haven't magically disappeared even though AVON's support has ended. The urgent question many are asking is "who is going to step in with the same level of philanthropic generosity?"
Big change in the independent research organization landscape.
The Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC) is ceasing to operate as an independent non-profit after 40 years. The landscape for public funding has clearly changed too. According to a recent public announcement by CPIC
"The organization has been primarily funded through public grants. Over the past several years, CPIC has been confronted with a dwindling federal funding environment. As an independent, nonprofit research institute, this presented an insurmountable hurdle in fulfilling the cancer prevention mission of the organization.
In this competitive funding environment, we have found that research scientists – the drivers of our work – are much more successful in securing research funding when they are affiliated with large research institutions than they are in smaller, independent organizations such as CPIC.
Over the years, CPIC researchers have transitioned to other institutions, including in the academic and industry sectors. With the remaining CPIC researchers transitioning to the University of California, San Francisco and Stanford University, the research programs of CPIC will continue on at these Bay Area institutions and their respective cancer centers."
Thankfully key researchers have found new institutional homes and key programs will continue. In particular Zero Breast Cancer is relived to share that
"The UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center will also assume management of the Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry. Since 1973, CPIC has been tracking the 30,000 cancers diagnosed and 10,000 deaths that occur each year through the registry. The registry is an important resource to help understand the cancer burden, risk factors, and the impact of prevention and screening programs".
And delighted to learn that
"UCSF will also continue to host the Annual CPIC Breast Cancer Conference for cancer patients and survivors. CPIC has hosted this conference for 17 years".
We look forward to seeing friends, colleagues, health care providers and the survivor community at next year's conference. You can read the full CPIC announcement here.
Big shift towards a focus on health disparities.
Reader, its all about resources, priorities and context. There is good news! Cancer rates and cancer deaths in California and nationally have declined. The bad news is that cancer is still the second leading cause of death. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 and 40,000 women will die of breast cancer in the USA.
A very important nuance in this conversation is that the good news accrues more to Non-Hispanic whites and the bad news impacts African-Americans, Hispanic/Latino populations and lower socio-economic groups disproportionately. These health care disparities, including here in California, are troubling and challenging. You can read the American Cancer Society's full California Cancer Facts & Figures 2017 report here. You can read the Cancer Facts & Figures for Hispanics/Latinos 2015-2017 here.
This week ZBC has been exhibiting and presenting at the 6th National Latino Cancer Summit at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center. We will report more fully on this conference in a later newsletter but a key focus of this conference are these disparities. Succinctly and powerfully expressed by Rena Pasick, DrPh (Professor of Medicine at UCSF and Director of the office of Community Engagement for the UCSF Hellen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center), is the definition of cancer disparities as differences that arise due to iniquities. This formulation forces the conversation to concentrate on the challenges of reducing these iniquities to mitigate these disparities; simply focusing on individuals and and risky individual behavior is not enough! According to Dr. Pasick what is needed are resources to systematically address iniquities that are societal/cultural, those in the health care system, those located at the level of family and community, those between patient and doctor and those at a cellular level (impact of environment, lifestyle, stress, trauma, etc).
Zero Breast Cancer is committed to challenging ourselves to focus more on undeserved populations and play our part in reducing these iniquities. Health information and education is an area we can make an impact. Our campaigns are thoughtfully designed to be accessible to all. The feedback from the conference this week has been warm, appreciative and encouraging. Seems we are doing something right. And there is much more to do.
Again that question; 'where will the philanthropic support come from?" In the best case scenario it will come from a diversified and sustainable mix of public, corporate and individual private support through grants, sponsorships, individual monthly and/or annual giving as well as legacy bequests.
More than ever thank you for prioritizing and supporting Zero Breast Cancer and breast cancer prevention in the next generation, especially for those who are currently underserved!
Yours in health,
PS. ZBC is growing its number of monthly donors significantly and you can become one too! If you read these monthly newsletter regularly then please consider a monthly gift of $25 or $50 (any amount helps) to help sustain the work of translating, disseminating and communicating evidence-based information about breast cancer risk reduction. Its quick and easy and you can now pay by PayPal too. Just click on this secure link and get started. Thank you!