Grant from Susan G. Komen and Walgreens Will Support Patient Navigator Program at Comprehensive Cancer Center

April 22, 2015

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s  Comprehensive Cancer Center has been awarded a grant of up to $200,000 for patient navigation programs aimed at medically underserved and vulnerable people facing breast cancer.

The grant is part of Komen’s National Patient Navigation Program, which aims to connect patients who have received abnormal breast imaging results with specially trained navigators that can guide them through and around the barriers in the complex cancer care system to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment.

“We are thrilled to have the sponsorship of The Susan Komen Foundation and Walgreen’s for this award,” said Marissa Howard-McNatt, M.D., director of the Breast Care Center at Wake Forest Baptist and principal investigator on the grant proposal. “The patient navigator program is a tremendously important part of how we care for patients through the Breast Care Center, offering critical help in coordinating not only complex medical tests and treatments but also other therapeutic programs and resources including counseling, nutrition services, lymphedema management, financial services and guidance into survivorship. Navigation programs are associated with improved breast cancer survival rates and may be especially helpful for medically underserved women who lack insurance or adequate resources to see themselves through treatment.”

Komen Northwest NC will help oversee the Wake Forest Baptist Health Breast Care Center Patient Navigator Program. This two year grant award of $195,804 will focus on providing patient navigation services to assist patients who have had an abnormal breast screening finding, overcome the barriers that may limit access to care, to improve outcomes and reduce disparities in patients with cancer. Komen Northwest NC has funded more than $5.7 million in local programs to date.

“Our local impact is even stronger now due to the Walgreen’s grant,” said Diana Parrish, executive director, Komen Northwest NC. “Our target population of underserved and uninsured women and men in our region will benefit from the Breast Nurse Navigator because they will be guided through the maze of treatment services and options which can be so confusing.” 

“More than 230,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and each will face difficult decisions about treatment, finances, family, work and so much more,” said Judith Salerno, M.D., M.S., president and CEO, Komen. “The patient navigation services funded by Walgreens and its customers help ensure that women receive the care they need by linking them with support and resources, and empowering them throughout their breast cancer journey.”

The program is supported by more than $2 million in funds raised by Walgreens and Walgreens customers during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October 2013. Over the last four years, the Walgreens program has raised more than $19 million.

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. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $847 million in research and provided $1.8 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at

Walgreens (, the nation's largest drugstore chain, constitutes the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,232 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens digital business includes,,, and Walgreens also manages more than 400 Healthcare Clinic and provider practice locations around the country.

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