For the past several months the Breast Cancer Community Partnership (BCaP) has been working with various community members and organizations to address breast cancer disparities in the region, specifically in North County. St. Louis was recently reported to have the second highest rates of late-stage breast cancer diagnoses of any city in the United States. Because of these results, Susan G. Komen has announced a $27 million equity initiative to reduce the number of late-stage breast cancer diagnoses and breast cancer deaths across the nation.
As part of this initiative, Komen wants to create a collective impact model to help reduce breast cancer disparities in our city. Active leaders in the community were invited to provide their valuable expertise and experience. The goal for these meetings was to bring together people from different disciplines and begin discussing possible solutions and the creation of a plan to present to Susan G. Komen when they visit later this year.
Various organizations have given presentations, such as that by Dr. Nhial Tutlam from the St. Louis County health department on the County breast cancer data, which gave BCaP members a better understanding of where exactly these disparities are. With these presentations the group has now begun to lay the groundwork for the next steps in addressing these disparities. Members have signed up to work on various group committees within BCaP on topics such as community strategies, navigators, the development of a resource manual, 8 ways brochures, County Health Department data, and advocacy. We hope that by working together in these areas we are able to help decrease the disparities in breast cancer.