$1.35 Million Grant Will Fund Program to Help Poor, Uninsured

UCLA Health Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center receives Avon Walk check presentation 2008

The sixth annual Avon Walk Los Angeles raised $1.35 million for a program at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center that helps poor and uninsured women navigate their way through breast cancer detection, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

The UCLA-Avon Cares for Life program, offered through UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, has proven invaluable to low-income women, many of them minorities, who are treated for breast cancer at the county hospital. The women are guided by bilingual care coordinators from diagnosis through chemotherapy and beyond. Services offered include on-site patient navigation, survivorship programs, access to screening and genetic counseling for high-risk women, clinical trials infrastructure and support for breast imaging fellowships at the Iris Cancer Center for Breast Imaging and UCLA Santa Monica Women’s Imaging Centers.

“The Avon Cares for Life program ensures that patients understand their diagnosis and are seen by the appropriate doctors in a timely manner,” said Lori Viveros, who manages the program. “The coordinators help our patients overcome language barriers, receive follow-up care, as well as facilitate their access to vital community resources. Each patient receives literature and educational materials to help them understand what’s ahead. It really helps to have the big picture and to have someone who they can turn to if they have any questions.”

In all, the Avon Walk Los Angeles this year raised more than $5 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. The walk drew more than 2,100 participants drawn from 34 states, including 211 breast cancer survivors, who joined together to raise lifesaving funds and awareness for breast cancer.

The UCLA-Avon Cares for Life Program received one of seven grants given to local organizations, ensuring that the funds raised benefit the community. More grants are slated to be awarded throughout the year to breast cancer programs nationwide.