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Susan G. Komen®’s New Community Support Structure Taking Shape

Komen Will Support Iowa Residents in Expanded New Way

Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, today provided an update on the progress of its operational and mission evolution, announced in April of 2020. More than half of the organization’s independent local Affiliates have now transitioned into the new, single entity structure. As part of this multiphase transition, Susan G. Komen will officially assume responsibility for supporting the area from Komen Greater Iowa effective March 31, 2021, although anyone living in Iowa may access Komen’s national support programs immediately. 

“I’m excited about the way this new structure will enable us to serve more of our neighbors affected by breast cancer, regardless of where they live,” said Paula Schneider, Komen’s President and CEO. “To be clear, we still have staff in communities across the country; they are simply working remotely from their homes. And our mission has not changed; indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has made our work even more critical, to ensure that everyone can access the breast cancer care they need. Breast cancer hasn’t stopped, and neither have we.”

To meet the current and evolving needs of those affected by breast cancer nationwide, Komen is now providing support directly to patients, survivors and their families through a broad suite of Komen-led services, as well as through breakthrough research and advocacy at the state and federal level. If anyone in Iowa is facing breast cancer today and needs support, residents can call Komen’s free Helpline and receive guidance to resources and emotional support from trained oncology social workers. In addition, Komen provides financial support through a national Treatment Assistance Program. Additional breast health and patient support services will be launched soon and will be available in every community across the country.  

To support local breast health organizations during Komen’s transition from local grant maker to direct provider of support, Komen Greater Iowa is awarding a final slate of grants to local entities and programs to help with breast cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment and other patient services.

Komen’s new community development team, comprised mostly of former Affiliate staff in each region, will be focusing on local communities, while closely collaborating with colleagues across their region and nationally. Under this new structure, Iowa will be supported by Komen’s national mission programs and a community team based in the region, led by Midwest Regional Vice President Barbara Ducharme.

Last year Komen announced that it was undertaking an enterprise-wide transition from a federated business model of independent Affiliates to a single, united entity in order to increase its overall operational efficiency and impact. The evolution enables the organization to benefit from centralized back office systems and reduced duplication of efforts across the country.  In addition to centralizing operations, additional cost savings are being realized by transitioning to a completely remote workforce. This enables Komen to have team members in virtually every state in the country, without the expense of office locations.