June 17 2021 – Palm Health Foundation, Palm Beach County’s community foundation for health, has provided a grant to the Promise Fund of Florida to increase access to affordable breast and cervical health care services to women in need. The funding will support the hire of a “provider network recruiter” who will identify new and existing community resources to expand Promise Fund of Florida’s Continuum of Care Model throughout Palm Beach County to increase health equity and help reach its goal of ensuring all women, regardless of income, receive affordable, timely, high quality, breast and cervical screenings, diagnostics, treatment, and follow up care. Palm Health Foundation joins Quantum Foundation in jointly funding this new position.
The Promise Fund of Florida was co-founded by Nancy G. Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen, Julie Fisher Cummings, and Laurie Silvers, three women who have spent decades working to improve quality of life for men and women of all socioeconomic backgrounds in many different areas of need. They founded the Promise Fund of Florida to fill the gaps in access to healthcare and help those in need in Palm Beach County to reduce the number of deaths due to late-stage breast and cervical cancer. Florida ranks last in the United States for the number of women under 65 who have insurance, magnifying their vulnerability to death from cancer because the lack of insurance delays diagnosis and treatment with catastrophic results.
The provider network recruiter will play a critical role in developing partnerships closest to target populations where multiple barriers to care exist, including transportation, language, finding childcare and taking time off from work. The Promise Fund has mapped imaging and screening facilities in Palm Beach County to identify gaps and serve as a blueprint for where the provider network recruiter will create partnerships for affordable cancer care services with physicians, clinics, hospitals, and other providers for Promise Fund participants. The goal is to identify a minimum of 15 health care providers to serve 300 or more women.
“The Promise Fund understands as we do that a person’s health outcomes depend just as much on her ZIP code as her DNA code,” said Patrick McNamara, president and CEO of Palm Health Foundation. “We also recognize the impact the provider network recruiter will have on health equity by creating systems change. Rather than expecting residents to find a way to get to healthcare systems, healthcare systems need to bring their services to the people, especially those with the greatest barriers.”
Palm Health Foundation is confident the new role is poised for success. With the Continuum of Care Model, the Promise Fund of Florida has already formed fundamental partnerships with Baptist Health South Florida, Caridad Center, Marie Louise Cancer Foundation, Community Health Center, Simply-Anthem, Hologic, FoundCare, Palm Beach County Medical Society, Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, Quantum Foundation, Uber Health, Genesis Community Center, Florida Atlantic University School of Nursing, the Northwest Community Health Alliance, and the Health Care District. Through their Patient Navigator Network, which has six partners, over 5,000 women have received outreach and education, and over 1,000 have benefited from navigation services. The provider network recruiter will also work closely with the Promise Fund’s patient navigator coordinator who guides women who have abnormal findings, through the health care system to reduce deaths due to late-stage breast and cervical cancer.
This Promise Fund grant is Palm Health Foundation’s second funding opportunity in recent years to focus on access to women’s cancer care. In 2020, the foundation joined with Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties to provide a grant to Susan G. Komen from its Helen and Harold Bernstein Endowment Fund and Frank & Jennie M. Palen Cancer Support Fund to support a community breast health navigator position in the Glades.
“We are proud to partner with Palm Beach County foundations to support women’s health,” said McNamara. “With almost 2,000 women in Palm Beach County diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer each year, we know the impact on saving lives through our funding is significant,” said McNamara. “No matter where a woman lives, her race or her circumstances, she deserves the care that could save her life.”