The Whitman-Walker Clinic announced Feb. 20 that the Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund has awarded a $40,000, one-year grant to the clinic's Lesbian Services Program. The purpose of the grant, according to a statement released by the clinic, will be to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer.
''There is a tremendous need to reach women with information and resources,'' said Ngozi Messam, interim director of the clinic's LSP, in a prepared statement. ''Many factors, ranging from lack of meaningful health information to fear of encountering homophobic providers, prevent our constituents from engaging in breast-health screening.''
This recent grant marks the eighth time the Avon Foundation has made such a gift to the LSP. According to LSP statistics, in 2007 the program's Breast Health Initiative educated more than 950 about the importance of early detection of breast cancer, as well as performed more than 600 clinical breast exams and made 530 mammogram referrals. The Breast Health Initiative also has plans to implement education programs targeting underserved women in Wards 6, 7 and 8.
Breast cancer is the leading single cause of death of women between the ages of 40 and 55 in the United States.