The Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine has received a $250,000, one-year award from the Avon Foundation for Women for support of BCM's efforts to provide breast cancer care at the Harris County Hospital District's Ben Taub General Hospital.
The grant was awarded in a special dedication ceremony Sunday, April 22, at the closing of the Fifth Annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Houston. Dr. Mothaffar Rimawi, medical director of the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, and Dr. Polly Niravath, assistant professor in the Smith Breast Center, accepted the check at the ceremony.
"This support from the Avon Foundation is critical to help us provide exceptional breast cancer care at Ben Taub," said Rimawi. "It helps us provide prevention, treatment, and survivorship services and to help navigate patients through the often complex medical system. This service is especially helpful in the underserved communities."
BCM breast oncologists split their time providing care at the Baylor Clinic and the Ben Taub breast clinic.
For the last four years, BCM researchers and physicians have received awards at the Avon Walk to support research and clinical care programs at BCM. This year's award is a renewal of a two-year safety net grant awarded to the breast center in 2010.
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Houston raised $2 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. At the walk's closing ceremony April 22, the Avon Foundation awarded a total of $1.5 million in grants to local organization.
Impact begins today
"These grants represent only a portion of the funding that the Avon Foundation will distribute in the Houston area and across the country this year, but we want to make sure that the impact of this walk begins today," said Kevin Honeycutt, executive director of program development at the Avon Foundation for Women.
BCM served as the official medical sponsor of the Avon Walk for the fifth year in a row. Led by Niravath, a team of more than 40 licensed health care professionals, which included nurse practitioners, fellows, residents and physicians (the majority from BCM), provided care for walkers in the medical tent.