The findings from the 2011 Komen Lowcountry Community Profile revealed that our most vulnerable communities are African-American, Hispanic and rural. It was evident that high mortality rates and low screening rates are created by numerous barriers to care within our service area, including a lack of medical facilities, cultural beliefs and education. At the time, seven Affiliate counties had more than 20 percent of the population living below poverty level, with Allendale the highest. We also found that the medical community needs education about current screening recommendations and available resources for their patients.
Drawing from the 2011 Community Profile, the following funding priority areas were identified for FY 2013-2014:
- Reduce the barriers to screening and treatment especially for rural populations, African Americans, and Hispanics.
- Increase education about breast health, breast cancer screening, and available resources. This includes education of the general population as well as medical providers. Healthy lifestyle initiatives may be included in breast health education programs.
- Improve support services for survivors, including specific survivor populations such as men, young women, and patients with metastatic disease.
The Community Profile is compiled every four years and a new community needs assessment is currently underway. A review of the quantitative data for the 2015 Community Profile shows that the greatest disparities in breast health continue to occur in the Affiliate’s African American, Hispanic and rural populations. Based on the review of the 2015 Community Profile Quantitative Data, the following counties have been identified as highest priority: Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Colleton, Hampton, Marion, and Orangeburg.
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