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Baylor College of Medicine News

Baylor College of Medicine’s breast care program for underserved recognized

The Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine and its medical director, Dr. Mothaffar Rimawi, will be honored at the upcoming Komen Houston Impact Awards Luncheon May 30 for their dedication to improving care for Houston’s underserved breast cancer community.

Rimawi will receive the 2013 Komen Impact Award for Outstanding Project Director for his leadership of BCM’s efforts to provide care at the Harris Health System’s Smith Clinic, where a majority of the patients are under or uninsured.

Through BCM’s affiliation with the Harris Health System, BCM doctors provide care at Ben Taub Hospital, in addition to seeing patients at the Baylor Clinic.

"I am deeply honored to receive this award and to stand alongside the remarkable honorees this year," said Rimawi, also an associate professor in the Smith Breast Center. "I am but the most conspicuous part of an outstanding team at the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center and Harris Health System that provides quality care and access to clinical trials to underserved and minority women with breast cancer. They deserve all the credit. I dedicate this award to the team and to the brave women battling breast cancer."

In conjunction with the Komen Houston Impact Awards Luncheon, the Smith Breast Center will also receive an $80,000 grant from the organization to continue its efforts providing care at the Smith Clinic.

Komen Houston has been a staunch supporter of BCM’s efforts in the underserved community. The organization has provided support to the Smith Clinic to continue this mission for more than 10 years.

This continuous funding has enabled the Smith Clinic and BCM to offer state-of-the-art care, screening and prevention services.

"With this support and help from the new grant, the Smith Breast Center team is able to minimize wait times from over 6 months to less than 3 weeks," said Dr. Julia Nangia, assistant professor in the center and the principal investigator on the grant.

"We can provide a patient navigator and nurse navigator to help patients with arranging for tests, coordination of care with other providers and follow-up," said Nangia. "It also supports the breast cancer prevention and high-risk clinic and the survivorship clinic, and it helps with education on clinical trials, which has helped to improve enrollment of minority women to clinical trials."

Other funding support of the Smith Clinic Breast Center includes the Smith Foundation, Avon Foundation and Pink Ribbons Project.

The Smith Breast Center and 20 other local organizations that have received 2013 Komen Houston community grants will be recognized Thursday, May 30, at the Komen Houston Impact Awards Luncheon at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

For more information about Komen Houston visit the website.