Monday, May 20, 2024

Cambridge Health Alliance has received $40,000 from the local chapter of breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure, it was announced Friday. The funds are part of more than $900,000 handed out by the charity this year to 24 nonprofits throughout the state.

It’s been a rough few months for Komen. It tried to defund Planned Parenthood to massive public disapproval and lost leaders and staff when the politics behind the decision were revealed; it canceled its annual gala and lost a traditional kickoff from Vice President Joe Biden and his wife; its chief executive, Nancy Brinker, has drawn attention for lavish spending; and it’s been embarrassed by its choice of partner in Uzbekistan, dictator’s daughter Gulnara Karimova.

And June 1 is to be the U.S. premiere of “Pink Ribbons, Inc.,” a Canadian film asking, in the words of distributor First Run Features, “who really benefits from the pink ribbon campaigns — the cause or the company? And what if the very companies and products that profit from their association have actually contributed to the problem?”

Komen’s Massachusetts affiliate released its funds vowing it was committed to the goal of ensuring screenings, care and follow-up for residents, with “nearly 80 percent of the funds raised by Komen Massachusetts” staying in the community, according to Lisa M. Cascio, the chapter’s director of marketing and communications.

Cambridge Health Alliance was credited for its Breast Health Connection, a program described as providing outreach to women not served by other health systems; identifying and linking those in need of breast care to “a culturally competent navigation service”; and developing partnerships with community organizations for referrals, care coordination and education. “The ultimate goal of CHA is to continue to expand work with community partners to offer events focused on the important of early detection and screening mammograms, access to care, cancer risk reduction and nutritional awareness,” according to a Regan Communications press release.

Grants are awarded through a competitive application process overseen by an independent panel of local experts assessing programs for impact, feasibility, sustainability and other criteria,Cascio said.