Avon Grant (320x240)
credit: AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast CancerFrom left, Kevin Honeycutt, president and CEO of Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and Dr. Julie Nangia, medical director for the Avon Walk and director of the Breast Cancer Prevention and High Risk Clinic at Baylor.

Baylor College of Medicine has received a $100,000 grant from the Avon Foundation for Women to increase access to state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment for women in Houston through resources at Baylor and Harris Health System’s Smith Clinic.

Ben Taub Hospital and the Smith Clinic serve Houston’s medically underinsured and uninsured community.

The funds will support genetic testing for breast cancer through the Pink 4 Life program that was started by Baylor physicians at Ben Taub 12 years ago to address strained resources for breast cancer screening and treatment.

“We are honored to be the recipients of funding from Avon for the seventh year in a row,” said Dr. Mothaffar Rimawi, medical director of the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at the Smith Clinic and the Baylor Clinic. “This grant helps support the Pink for Life program, which is a project that provides breast cancer care and genetic counseling for economically disadvantaged patients regardless of ability to pay.”

The Avon Foundation has been a staunch supporter of the program, enabling Rimawi and his team to dramatically improve care for breast cancer by detecting it at an earlier stage, offering a better chance for survival and more options for treatments.

“Our partnership with Avon goes back to 2000, and extends from grants that serve our patients to grants that support our laboratory and clinical research in breast cancer,” said Rimawi.

Baylor was awarded one of six grants by The Avon Foundation for Women at the closing ceremonies of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Houston April 24. Dr. Julie Nangia, medical director for the Avon Walk and director of the Breast Cancer Prevention and High Risk Clinic at Baylor, accepted the award on behalf of Baylor at the ceremony.

Every year, thousands of women and men touched by breast cancer gather to walk 39 miles over two days to raise critical funds for breast cancer. This year, Avon 39 Houston drew more than 1,000 participants from more than 30 states, including 143 breast cancer survivors. In all, $2.2 million was raised to advance access to breast health care.

For the ninth year in a row, Baylor served as the official medical sponsor of the Houston walk. Nangia and her team of healthcare volunteers oversaw all care of the walkers throughout the two-day event.

“I am so excited to have led the volunteer medical team from Baylor College of Medicine in caring for all the walkers!” said Nangia. “These brave participants walked 26.2 miles Saturday, and we helped make sure their feet were bandaged and that they were taken care of so they could walk another 13.1 miles the next day! The incredible walkers have all been touched by breast cancer in some way and endure this 39.3 mile challenge so that they can help raise money to support the fight to end breast cancer.”