Circle of Promise Success: 2,500 African American Los Angelenos Screened for Breast Cancer

Although breast cancer impacts people from all backgrounds, there are significant differences in the mortality rates among racial groups. African American women diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States have a mortality rate that is 42 percent higher than their Caucasian counterparts. This disparity is even greater in Los Angeles where African American women are dying of breast cancer at rates 70 percent higher than Caucasian women are. The Circle of Promise initiative was created to help diminish this health disparity gap while simultaneously creating a cultural shift that will change the outcome for African Americans diagnosed with breast cancer.

The California Circle of Promise is statewide initiative addressing breast cancer disparities among African Americans at the system, community, and individual levels. Launched by the seven California affiliates of Susan G. Komen, the initiative serves the unique needs of African American women, 40 and above, who are rarely or never screened for breast cancer and are also low-income, uninsured or recipients of Medi-Cal, in order to provide access to quality breast health care services.

The goal of the initiative is to empower African American women with the knowledge and resources to enter and seamlessly move through a quality, culturally competent and coordinated system of breast health care. In some instances, this means bringing the services directly to the community in the form of a mobile breast cancer screening event and/or grass roots health education programs.

The initiative is funded in part by a grant from Anthem Blue Cross Foundation, L.L.C.

When the California Circle of Promise launched in the Spring of 2014, the statewide affiliates of Susan G. Komen committed to:

  • Provide a mammogram to least 2,000 women who had not received a service in the past year and permanently improve access to community health networks.
  • Provide high quality breast cancer education and medical services to a community of women where one does not currently exist.
  • Provide a permanent safety-net infrastructure through community collaboration.
  • Enhance community partnerships, with far-reaching and enduring results.
  • Navigate individual women into a medical home so that they will gain access to knowledge and resources that will serve them throughout their lifetime.
  • Improve systems of care and mobilize all women to make breast health a priorit

Los Angeles County Circle of Promise accomplishments since then are:

  • Number of individuals reached and informed about mammography events in the community through media marketing: 102,740
  • Number of women directly educated about breast cancer risk, treatment and prevention: 101,617
  • Number of breast cancer screening events held in the community targeting African American women: over 200
  • Number of African American women successfully scheduled for a mammogram: 1,188
  • Number of African American women who received a breast cancer screening: 668
  • Number of educational events held in the community targeting African American Women: Over 300
  • Number of African American women who returned the following year for their second mammogram: 25

The results of the inaugural 24 months of Circle of Promise state-wide are as follows:

  • 2,559 African American women have completed a mammogram screening; exceeding the original screening goal by 28 percent.
  • 69 African American women have been diagnosed with breast cancer and have been navigated through diagnosis and treatment.
  • 52,744 African American women have received local breast health information.
  • 21,399 African American women have been directly educated one-on-one or in small group consultations throughout California.

The Los Angeles County Circle of Promise could not have accomplished these goals and reached this population of women without the help of our community partners, stakeholders, and sponsors. Their collaborative efforts have allowed us to do substantial work in the community these past two years. We are incredibly grateful for their partnership and the opportunity to work together to create a positive breast health movement for African American women in Los Angeles County.