BRIDGEPORT - The Connecticut Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure has awarded a $38,000 grant to Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) to increase the rate of early detection of breast cancer in the greater Bridgeport area.
The Komen Connecticut grant will support the ongoing work of Planned Parenthood to increase early detection of breast cancer, with an emphasis on reducing the deaths from this disease  among women of color in the greater Bridgeport area.  This PPSNE program focuses on providing increased education programs to raise awareness in the community about the importance of early detection, as well as removing financial obstacles for screening and treatment, and ensuring follow-up or treatment for women requiring these services. The program will provide approximately 200 diagnostic screenings and will educate over 2,000 women about breast health and screening services, especially among women of color in the greater Bridgeport area.
“Planned Parenthood provides critical health services to women and families in our communities across Connecticut. The funds provided by the Susan G. Komen Foundation will enable us to further our important work of early detection of breast cancer in the Bridgeport community,” said Mary Bawza, COO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the detection of early-stage breast cancers in Connecticut.  According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the State now ranks second in the country for new breast cancers detected. The Department attributes this rise in detection to higher screening rates. Unfortunately, the Department continues to show that among Connecticut women, women of color are less likely to detect breast cancers early and as a result have a higher mortality rate.
According to the Komen Foundation report, the Bridgeport area has one of the highest concentrations of stage IV diagnosis for breast cancer.  
With the help of the community, Komen Connecticut raises money year-round to invest in national research initiatives and Connecticut-based education, screening and treatment programs for breast cancer and breast health. Planned Parenthood of Southern New England is one such local organization that provides breast cancer screenings for Connecticut women.
“It’s important that we work together to improve the breast health of all Connecticut residents,” said Anne Morris, executive director for Komen Connecticut. “Until we find cures for breast cancer, these local programs are essential in ensuring that women in our communities have the support and care they need to get and stay healthy. We’re proud to support Planned Parenthood of Southern New England and their efforts to fight breast cancer in Connecticut.”
The grant supporting Planned Parenthood of Southern New England is one of 19 awarded by Komen Connecticut this year. For the second year in a row, Komen Connecticut has invested more than $1 Million in Connecticut-based breast health programs throughout the state.
Last year, the Susan G. Komen Foundation awarded Planned Parenthood funds to provide screening and diagnostic mammograms and ultrasounds to 175 Bridgeport women, dramatically increasing the reach of the program in the community.
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England serves 70,000 patients each year, and 90 percent of the services provided are preventive. In Connecticut, this includes almost 35,000 breast and cervical cancer screenings and over 100,000 STI and HIV tests. The Bridgeport Breast Cancer Early Detection Program is a component of the larger Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program at Planned Parenthood, which covers the greater Bridgeport area and the lower Naugatuck Valley and receives funds from the State of Connecticut.


Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, Inc.


Jenny Carrillo


June 16, 2011