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Upstate New York affiliates of Susan G. Komen join forces for bigger impact on breast cancer


Sat, Jan 28th 2017 10:35 am

New 'Komen Upstate New York' allows consolidation of back-office services 

Four Susan G. Komen affiliates in New York state have restructured and centralized their operations and, pending legal approval expected within the next several weeks, created "Susan G. Komen Upstate New York."

This organization will continue to offer breast health and breast cancer screening, support and survivorship programs in the 49 counties they independently served as Komen Central New York, Komen Northeastern New York, Komen Twin Tiers and Komen Western New York.

The goal of this collaboration is to enable greater cost savings while maximizing grants to local health organizations and programs to help more people detect breast cancer early and beat it. All four offices will remain open and each local Race for the Cure will continue, in Albany, Buffalo, Elmira and Syracuse.

All four affiliates' boards of directors have approved the consolidation, and the four offices have already begun working together. The final action is awaiting approval from the state attorney general's office.

James Kincaid, board president at Komen Western New York, said the decision to consolidate came down to common sense and what was best to carry out the Komen mission: To save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities, and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.

"We all came to this decision by putting our mission and the people in our communities first," Kincaid said. "We think we can help more people this way, while maintaining a sense of autonomy in the individual regions and keeping the local, grassroots approach that has made Komen so successful."

Komen's Community Grants programs will continue in all regions of the state, as will survivor support programs and other resources currently offered to residents in the communities now served by the four offices. Komen Upstate New York will continue to donate 25 percent of all net proceeds to Komen's National Research Grants program, which supports global, leading-edge research focused on the prevention of, and cures for, breast cancer.

The primary changes will be the centralization of back-office functions such as finance, operations and grants administration. The 49 counties in the service area include most of upstate New York, as well as three counties in Pennsylvania.

Elizabeth Kahn, executive director at Komen Western New York, and Kate Flannery, executive director at Komen Central New York, will serve as co-executive directors of the new Komen Upstate New York.

"I know that the efficiencies we will gain from this collaboration can only help us as we fight breast cancer on all fronts," Kahn said. "Pooling time and expertise will allow us to plan more strategically, and putting the right people in the right places doing the best and most efficient work possible will bolster our efforts."

Flannery, who has been with Komen Central New York for 11 years, said the restructured organization will "strengthen our presence throughout the state while cutting our costs."

"We are wholly committed to the people of New York state, and this is simply a better way to serve them," she said. "With the same offices, same races and other events, along with the incredible network of generous volunteers who are laser-focused on battling breast cancer, Komen Upstate New York can only thrive."

Komen Upstate New York will debut its new website and social media pages in the coming weeks. Until then, direct calls to Kahn, or 716-310-4188 or Flannery 315-415-7134.

About Susan G. Komen

Susan G. Komen is the world's largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Komen was founded in 1982 by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy's life.

Komen Upstate New York is working to better the lives of those facing breast cancer in the local communities it serves. Through events such as the Race for the Cure, Komen has invested a total of over $13 million in community breast health programs covering the 49-county upstate New York region, and has helped contribute to the more than $920 million invested globally in research.


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