Avon Breast Cancer Crusade
Since 1992, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has been working to help to prevent, treat, and ultimately eradicate breast cancer. The Crusade supports awareness and education, screening and diagnosis, access to care, support services and scientific research.
The Avon Foundation for Women administers programs in the United States and partners with affiliate Avon Foundations and Avon markets around the world. In the U.S., Avon Breast Cancer Crusade LLC manages this breast cancer work. In total, Avon and the Foundation have contributed more than $800 million to breast cancer programs around the world through 2015.
Read further to learn more about our work in the U.S.:
- AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer
- Access to Care Programs
- Breast Cancer Research
- Strategic Partnerships
AVON 39 The Walk To End Breast Cancer
AVON 39 The Walk To End Breast Cancer, a project of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, takes place in seven U.S. cities and covers 39.3 miles in two days. Since its launch in 2003, the AVON 39 series has raised nearly $590 million thanks to more than 220,000 participating women and men from across the country, including Avon Associates and Representatives. The Crusade awards the funds raised to local, regional and national breast cancer organizations to accelerate breast cancer research; improve access to screening, diagnosis, and treatment; and educate people about breast cancer. The AVON 39 series is the largest fund-raising event for the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Visit www.avon39.org for more information.
Access to Care Programs
Avon Breast Cancer Crusade investments aim to improve breast cancer outcomes and reduce disparities in survival rates. The Crusade’s strategic grant making reflects a holistic and place-based approach in high-need areas throughout the United States and a commitment to enabling access to medical advances and support services for breast cancer patients, particularly those from vulnerable populations. In 2015, in the U.S. alone, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade made 145 grants for breast cancer programs, 63% of which were dedicated to access to patient service and care programs, and 37% to research.
Avon Centers of Excellence
Funding supports seven Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Centers of Excellence at major academic medical centers in the U.S. Avon grants enable these Centers to develop new programs to reach and treat underserved populations in their communities. One example is New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s increasing services to Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood. Annual Avon grants to these centers also support their research efforts, with an emphasis on underserved and minority populations. Learn more about one of our Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Centers of Excellence here.
Avon Safety Net Program
In the U.S., the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade supports patient navigator programs at more than 50 Safety Net Hospitals with the goal of helping women and men who fall through the cracks of the healthcare system. The Program targets low resource hospital systems where social barriers exist in addition to healthcare barriers – helping patients understand and overcome the complex medical maze to be faced after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis and securing access to high-quality, timely treatment. Cumulatively, the Avon Safety Net Program has awarded more than 760 grants through 2015, totaling more than $232 million, to a network of more than 200 hospitals across the country.
Avon Breast Cancer Crusade-funded patient navigation programs provided patients with more than 550,000 educational contacts, enabled access to nearly 280,000 mammograms and provide 73,000 patient navigation services to medically underserved women and men diagnosed with breast cancer. Learn more about Avon patient navigators here.
Avon Breast Health Outreach Program
Through the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has awarded more than 1,750 grants to community-based organizations across the U.S. — providing nearly 100,000 women annually to quality screening, and funding more than 50 community health educators to link underserved audiences to early detection programs and risk reduction strategies.
Avon Global Breast Cancer Clinical Scholars
The Avon Global Breast Cancer Clinical Scholars program trains breast cancer specialists living outside the United States at leading Avon Foundation-funded U.S. breast cancer centers. It provides advanced training to doctors so they can bring new skills and information to their home countries that will improve the treatment and care of breast cancer patients. The 2016 Global Scholars represent the third class of scholars and is comprised of 20 doctors, researchers and scientists from 14 different countries.
Breast Cancer Research
Current research priorities are aimed at understanding the causes of breast cancer; prevention; and developing new treatments for under-investigated areas of research, such as metastatic breast cancer and rare, aggressive types of the disease (including inflammatory breast cancer and triple negative breast cancer).
Environmental Research Related to Breast Cancer
The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has long provided significant environmental research related to breast cancer. National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, NC, has received $1.5 million from the Avon Foundation since 2004 to support the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers and adjunct studies to The Sister Study.
Silent Spring Institute in Massachusetts has received $1.725 million from the Avon Foundation since 2004 to support its efforts to identify and change the links between the environment and women’s health, especially breast cancer.
The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade also funds patient access to care and non-environmental specific research programs at a number of organizations that are active in the exploration of environmental factors in breast cancer, such as the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the University of California San Francisco. These organizations update the Foundation on new areas of environmental exploration, and issues and concerns in this field for future funding consideration.
The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade is helping lead and coordinate ongoing collaborations with key cancer organizations and annually convenes experts from its own funded organizations. These events foster innovation, share best practices in the areas of breast cancer research, prevention strategies and patient services, and emphasize our unique collaborative approach to grant making. Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Forums and Summits alternate each year between convening representatives from community-based programs that provide outreach, education and early detection, and those from cancer centers engaged in scientific research and treatment.
A few examples include:
- Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance
Through October 2015, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade led and coordinated the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance (MBCA), comprising 40 breast cancer advocate organizations and industry partners that have joined forces with the vision of transforming and improving the lives of women and men living with metastatic breast cancer. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has dedicated staff time and resources to lead the MBCA’s effort to conduct a comprehensive analysis of metastatic breast cancer research and patient information and resources.
- Avon Pfizer Metastatic Breast Cancer Program
The Avon-Pfizer Metastatic Breast Cancer Grants Program: Identify-Amplify-Unify provided a total of $1-million in grants to support 23 non-profit organizations developing solutions to challenges experienced by metastatic breast cancer patients and their caregivers. The Avon-Pfizer partnership put into action recommendations from recent expert panels and studies on quality-of-life issues of patients, identifying the needs of metastatic breast cancer patients, amplifying awareness and resources, and unifying to support the metastatic breast cancer community. Goals include supporting programs that: improve the quality of life for women and men facing metastatic breast cancer; address gaps in services and information for the metastatic breast cancer community; address barriers to care, information, and services for medically underserved metastatic breast cancer patients. An executive summary of best practices and lessons learned from the program can be found here.
- Racial Disparity in Breast Cancer Mortality Studies, 2012 and 2014
The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade conducted the second Racial Disparity in Breast Cancer Mortality study in 2014 in conjunction with the Sinai Urban Health Institute. The study found a black:white disparity in breast cancer mortality in 39 of the most populous U.S. cities, with 35 of those cities experiencing a widening disparity over a 20-year period (1990 to 2009). This study expanded on a 2012 study that examined the racial disparity in breast cancer mortality over a three-year period (2005-2007) in the 24 largest U.S. cities. An update to the 2014 study is underway with a 2016 release date planned.
- Memphis Breast Cancer Consortium
The Racial Disparity in Breast Cancer Mortality study revealed that Memphis, Tennessee had the highest disparity in mortality out of all cities surveyed. Acting on this information, Avon partnered with Genentech and more than 20 breast cancer agencies in Tennessee to bring together organizations and individuals committed to the fight against breast cancer inequalities in Metropolitan Memphis. In addition, Avon launched a Memphis-specific request for applications to fund organizations that provide breast care to low-income, at-risk, uninsured and underinsured individuals. Grants funded five Memphis- based beneficiaries that are pursuing programmatic solutions to challenges experienced by low-income, medically underserved individuals and their medical providers.