Thousands of women in south and central San Diego County will receive access to important breast health education and services, thanks to a $40,000 grant to Scripps Health from the San Diego affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
The grant will support Scripps’ Healthy Women Healthy Families program, which utilizes “promotoras,” or peer educators, to teach Latina, Asian and Pacific Islander women age 40 and older about breast cancer early detection and services. The program also helps guide women diagnosed with breast cancer toward available resources for clinical care and social support.
According to recent data from Komen and Scripps, Latina, Asian and Pacific Islander women are less likely to be screened and receive adequate follow-up services, often due to cultural, language or financial barriers. The south and central regions of San Diego County have a large representation of these ethnic populations.
“Mammography screening is the single-most effective method of early detection for breast cancer, but obstacles prevent some people from taking action,” said Kendra Brandstein, director of community benefits with Scripps Health. “Our program educates these hard-to-reach women on their own terms, so we can help remove roadblocks to screening and care.”
The program’s promotoras interact with women in ways that are sensitive to individual cultures and languages. Promotoras go out in the community to visit churches, supermarkets, clinics, health fairs and other gathering spots to educate women about the basics of breast health. They also refer women to mammography screening services and follow-up care that are available to them in the community, often at low or no cost.
Led by Scripps Mercy Hospital (San Diego and Chula Vista), the promotora program includes a broad network of collaborating groups, including community health clinics throughout south and central San Diego County. Physicians in Scripps’ Family Medicine Residency Program help support breast cancer patients as they receive care at local clinics.
In the coming year, Scripps expects the promotora program to provide education about the importance of breast cancer screenings to more than 4,000 women. It also expects to help guide more than 3,000 women to radiology and clinical services in the coming year, and to provide patient navigation services to more than 300 women.
The grant is a continuation of a long-standing relationship between Scripps and the San Diego affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which has helped fund the promotora program for more than 10 years.
Learn more about Scripps Health, a nonprofit integrated health system in San Diego, Calif.