Funds available for local breast-health organizations

Officials with Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Greater Atlanta are encouraging breast-cancer organizations in Clayton and Henry counties to apply for Komen Atlanta's 2012-2013 Grant Cycle.

Komen Atlanta is a local resource for breast-cancer screening, treatment education, and support, for women who are battling breast cancer. The organization also raises funds through charitable events to help fund local breast-cancer organizations, and assist women who cannot afford treatment.

According to Terrica Oglesby, marketing and development coordinator for Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Greater Atlanta, through its grants program, Komen Atlanta strives to fund innovative breast-health services that would otherwise not be available to women who are in need. She added currently, the organization provides funds to the Clayton County Board of Health. However, Oglessaid they are looking to work with more organizations in the county.

"We would love for them [breast-cancer organizations in Clayton County] to know about the opportunity," said Oglesby.

In addition to Clayton County, she added, Komen Atlanta funds organizations in the following counties: Henry, Cherokee, Cobb, Dekalb, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Rockdale. Oglessaid the organizations serviced in this area are comprised of 44 percent of the total state population, serving more than 4.1 million people.

To determine how much funding can be awarded to an organization, Oglessaid a needs assessment is conducted Komen Atlanta every two years. She said the process includes an analysis of demographics and cancer rates, in addition to multiple interviews with breast-cancer health providers.

"We discover that women living in Fulton, Dekalb and Rockdale counties are being diagnosed with breast cancer at later stages and are even dying at higher rates when compared to the averages of Georgia and the United States," said Kelly Dolan, executive director of Komen Atlanta. "It is our job to meet the early detection needs in the community and see to it that those statistics are reversed."

She added the findings from the community assessments are instrumental in determining which local organizations address the barriers to accessing care and support.

During the 2010-2011 grant cycle, said Oglesby, Komen Atlanta awarded $2.2 million in funding to grantees who provided more than 8,500 screening and diagnostic procedures. She added that out of the women served the Komen grant, 92 percent were completely without insurance or underinsured.

Organizations interested in receiving funding for the 2012-2013 grant cycle must provide services within Komen Atlanta's 10-county service area, said Oglesby. Applications must be mailed or delivered 5 p.m. on, Nov. 4. For more information, visit www.komenatlanta.org.