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(L-R) Adam Knox, vice president commercial business Highmark Delaware, and Francesca Vogel, executive director of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition | PHOTO COURTESY OF HIGHMARK DELAWARE[/caption]
Wilmington - The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition (DBCC) was awarded $112,891 from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware’s grant BluePrints for the Community. The pandemic did not spare DBCC, which suffered significant financial losses due to cancelled fundraisers over the past year, resulting in staff furloughs and cutbacks.
“While COVID-19 has halted many aspects of our lives, the resolve of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition has not stopped. Our commitment to supporting breast cancer survivors is stronger than ever” said Francesca Vogel, executive director of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, in a prepared statement.
BluePrints for the Community, housed by the Delaware Community Foundation, has contributed over $17 million to the community since its inception in 2007. It was established to serve Delawareans, with emphasis on, but not limited to, the needs of the uninsured and underserved, and to reduce health care disparities in minority population and address social determinants of health.
BluePrints for the Community, housed by the Delaware Community Foundation, has contributed over $17 million to the community since its inception in 2007. It was established to serve Delawareans, with emphasis on, but not limited to, serving the needs of the uninsured and underserved, reducing health care disparities in minority populations and addressing social determinants of health.
The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition recognized that pandemic realities have unduly impacted underserved and minority communities in receiving the breast cancer screening and survivorship support they so critically need. In addition to fears of contracting COVID-19, preventative screenings and diagnosis have been delayed. Due to immunocompromised health, breast cancer survivors are facing pandemic-related job and income loss, increased concerns over untreated breast cancer growth, disrupted family lives, and stress from increased isolation.
“As we continue to face uncertainties and challenges related to COVID-19, it is imperative that we ensure the safety of our friends and family members with health concerns that make them more susceptible to illness,” said Nick Moriello, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware, said in a statement. “We are pleased to support the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition in their efforts to keep people healthy and enable them to continue safely on their path to healing.”
The funding received by the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition will support several core areas of the organization. First it will support DBCC’s Breast Health Education and Survivorship Outreach expansion through new virtual platforms to serve the growing vital needs of breast cancer survivors, along with the development of culturally relevant educational resources to further reduce health disparities among the underserved and minorities.
In addition, the funding will address re-educating the public on the imminence of life-saving screenings in pandemic-safe facilities as outreach efforts cultivate diversity in new relationships with community centers, libraries, churches, and businesses.
Restoring furloughed staff to pre-pandemic levels and the addition of a bilingual outreach coordinator will enable DBCC to develop and evolve programs to an effective, post-pandemic, dual in-person and virtual delivery model. The funding awarded will also support additional marketing, communication, and translation needs to provide educational and multicultural awareness of DBCC Programs in underserved areas.
“We are very thankful for community leaders like Highmark during these unprecedented times to help enable us to carry our mission forward to help thousands of women and men diagnosed with breast cancer throughout Delaware” said Francesca Vogel in a statement.