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KomenUNITY event highlights local progress made in fight against breast cancer

COSTA MESA, Calif., Dec. 04, 2015 – Susan G. Komen Orange County® today unveiled key breast health findings from its 2015 Community Profile Report at its annual Grants Breakfast at Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. A result of extensive research compiled by leading medical professionals over the course of the year, the report outlines the status of breast health and services in Orange County, and serves as a roadmap for future Komen Orange County initiatives. The first event in a two-part KomenUNITY series drew a crowd of nearly 300 community members and also awarded nearly $800,000 to 11 Orange County nonprofit and community-based organizations implementing culturally appropriate, comprehensive breast health programs in their communities.

Community Profile Report findings included:

  • African-American communities displayed increased trends in breast cancer incidence, late-stage diagnosis and death rates considerably higher than Caucasians
  • Among Asian and Pacific Islander communities, there was a higher number of invasive breast cancer incidences than the general population
  • Hispanic/Latina women represent more than one-third of Orange County female residents over the age of 40 who have never had a mammogram
  • Women 65 years and older have an increased risk of dying from breast cancer

“To date, we have invested more than $36 million in Orange County organizations providing access to care for all people, in all languages, remaining sensitive to the needs of each demographic,” said Stacy Davis, interim executive director of Komen Orange County. “That’s why this event is so special to us – it gives us the opportunity to award critical funding to help the Orange County communities that rely on us the most, and also celebrate the progress we’ve made in our breast health programming.”

Komen OC, YWCA

The event featured four prominent leaders who gave insightful presentations on the state of the breast health community, as it related to the key findings from the Community Profile Report. They included:

  • Isabel Becerra, chief executive officer, Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers
  • Mary Anne Foo, executive director, Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, Inc.
  • Dr. DeVera Heard, board member, California Circle of Promise, African American Initiative
  • Ambrocia Lopez, community outreach and education manager, Komen Orange County

Komen Orange County also presented Northgate Gonzalez Markets with the 2015 Community Impact Award in recognition of its longstanding partnership in the fight against breast cancer. Since 2010, Northgate Gonzalez Markets has helped Komen Orange County reach more Orange County residents to provide clinical breast exams, mammograms, and navigation to diagnostic services. It also raised more than $27,000 for the nonprofit through a successful Breast Cancer Awareness Month promotion.

Komen Orange County’s 2015 community impact by the numbers:

  • 83,789 people received breast health education
  • 17,797 women received a Komen-funded clinical breast exam
  • 10,239 women received a Komen-funded mammogram
  • 1,095 women benefited from Komen-funded diagnostic testing
  • 124 women received financial assistance
  • 81 people learned of their breast cancer diagnosis through Komen-funded services
  • 55 women in treatment received complimentary wigs and hair accessories through the Affiliate’s wig salon

The 2016 grant recipients are:

  • AltaMed Health Services
  • Serve the People Community Health Center
  • Central City Community Health Center
  • Breast Cancer Solutions
  • The Cambodian Family Community Center
  • Share Our Selves Clinic
  • Vietnamese American Cancer Foundation
  • Orange County Korean American Health Information and Education Center
  • YWCA of North Orange County
  • Nhan Hoa Comprehensive Health Care Clinic
  • North OC Regional Health Foundation

Komen Orange County will host the second part of KomenUNITY on Feb. 3, 2016. The research symposium will focus on Komen’s total research investment – which spans the entire cancer continuum – from prevention to treatments for aggressive and metastatic disease. For a complete list of each organization’s breast health project and to learn more about KomenUNITY, visit

About Susan G. Komen®

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $889 million in research and provided $1.95 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social media at


By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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