Emory Report
September 28, 2009
Volume 62, Number 5


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September 28, 2009
Campaign Emory
Avon backs cancer care for underserved

By Vincent Dollard

The Avon Foundation has awarded $750,000 to the Emory Winship Cancer Institute (WCI) and the Avon Comprehensive Breast Center at Grady Memorial Hospital to continue community outreach, education, clinical access and research studies that improve care for the underserved populations in Atlanta.

“We are grateful to the Avon Foundation for their extraordinary and steadfast support,” says Sheryl Gabram, professor of surgical oncology and principle investigator on the Avon grant. “Our aim is to reach 10,000 or more women through outreach and education presentations throughout Atlanta. We also will increase mammography, treatment services and access to clinical trials to underserved women.”

Gabram says the Avon Foundation’s support in previous years has resulted in significant improvements in the breast center at Grady.

“The number of women diagnosed with breast cancer at early stages has doubled,” she says, “with a corresponding decrease in the number of women who are diagnosed with late stage disease. We are providing over 16,000 mammography, diagnostic and screening services annually and this is a significant increase from past years.”

Since 2000, the Avon Foundation has awarded more than $11,000,000 to WCI and Grady. The funds have been instrumental in building new facilities, acquiring state-of-the-art equipment and supporting leading-edge breast cancer research projects aimed at improving outcomes for underserved women diagnosed with breast cancer in Atlanta.

In addition to an emphasis on outreach and clinical services, the grant will support research projects that will examine how access to care, income, and other factors impact breast cancer survival among women in Georgia; how a specific surgical procedure affects patients’ return rate to the operating room; and why African American women with estrogen receptor positive tumors have worse survival rates than Caucasian women.

This grant is part of Campaign Emory, a $1.6 billion fundraising endeavor that combines private support and the University’s people, places and programs to make a powerful contribution to the world. Investments through Campaign Emory fuel efforts to address fundamental challenges: improving health, gaining ground in science and technology, resolving conflict, harnessing the power of the arts, and educating the heart and mind.