Perhaps most startling, however, are the gaps in access to screening, treatment and quality care that contribute to breast cancer deaths in Ohio and cause some women to die of the disease more than others. With over 445,000 uninsured women between the ages of 19-64 in Ohio, Susan G. Komen for the Cure recognizes the dire need to increase access to screening and treatment for racial and ethnic minorities, the poor and those with little or no insurance. Through grassroots efforts and coordinated advocacy campaigns, Komen for the Cure is attempting to “Close the Gap” in research, public policy and access to quality care that causes breast cancer to be deadlier in some women more than others.
And there’s good news: the Ohio legislature recently allocated $5 million in the state’s budget proposal for the Ohio Breast and Cervical Cancer Project, providing early detection services for uninsured and underinsured women. On January 22nd, policymakers, advocates, healthcare professionals and survivors held a luncheon and panel discussion at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus to celebrate the funding and to discuss “Closing the Gap.” Speakers included Dr. Alvin Jackson of the Ohio Department of Health, and Rep. Joyce Beatty and State Senator Tom Niehaus, both of whom were instrumental in the $5 million appropriation.
Rosemary Gold, Chair of the Komen for the Cure Advocacy Committee, attended the luncheon and was impressed with the efforts to “Close the Gap”. Said Gold, “we are simply losing too many women to this disease because they don’t have insurance or access to this program. This funding is a step in the right direction.”
To get involved with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, please call 216.292.CURE or visit www.komenneohio.org