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Adventist HealthCare Awarded Avon Foundation

By Lydia Parris

Adventist HealthCare has been awarded a $500,000 grant over two years to fund the Adventist HealthCare Navigate to Health Program designed to ensure the most vulnerable populations in the Washington metropolitan area are not lost unnecessarily to breast cancer. The grant was one of several announced at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Closing Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Award-winning actress and honorary chair of the Avon Foundation, Reese Witherspoon, was a special guest at the sixth annual Avon Walk, cheering on and joining walkers on their second day and participating in the celebratory and inspirational Closing Ceremony. At the ceremony, Witherspoon joined the family, friends, and supporters of the 3,500 participants in celebrating the $8.1 million raised for local, regional, and national breast cancer organizations. The women and men in the weekend-long Avon Walk hailed from 40 states and included nearly 300 breast cancer survivors.

“I am very excited to be partnering with the Avon Foundation and to help them continue to affect real change,” stated Reese (pictured above with Deb Pollak, executive director for Cancer Care Services for Adventist HealthCare and Judy Lichty, regional director, Health & Wellness for Adventist HealthCare). “I feel a great responsibility in my own life to give back to society.”

The half-million-dollar grant will allow Adventist HealthCare’s two acute-care hospitals in Maryland—Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville and Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park—to reduce the number of patients who do not seek care for this deadly, yet manageable disease. The Navigate to Health Program will expand breast health outreach, education, and advanced technology services to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women ages 18 to 65+ in Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Frederick counties. More than 5,200 women are expected to participate in the program over the next two years.

“We’re excited that these additional resources will allow us to expand our successful breast screening programs to reach more medically underserved women in our communities,” said Debra Pollak, executive director for Cancer Care Services for Adventist HealthCare. “The outreach and education program, patient navigation program, and the best screening technologies available will mean better access for this population and earlier breast cancer detection in many cases. We hope that by increasing screenings and early detection, this program will improve breast cancer survival rates for underserved women in our communities.”

To register, donate, or for additional information, visit avonwalk.org or call 800-541-WALK.