An Important Message from Komen Puget Sound

Dear Komen Puget Sound Family:

Earlier this year, Susan G. Komen® announced that it is consolidating all local affiliates and creating One Komen. The goal: centralize operations for efficiency and refocus the mission on research, advocacy and national patient programs that aren’t limited to the geographic boundaries of the existing affiliate network.

With this organizational change, affiliates, such as Komen Puget Sound, do not have the option to continue to operate as they have.

 

Understanding the Future

Effective Jan. 1, 2021, Komen Puget Sound (KPS) will transition its community engagement and mission efforts to Komen’s new regional community development and national mission teams. In preparation for this change, we recently closed our office space in downtown Seattle. The last day for all Komen Puget Sound staff is Dec. 31, 2020.

While Komen remains committed to communities, we don’t know yet what that will look like for our region in terms of future staffing, events, activities and investments, which is why, at this time, no 2021 events are scheduled. To support Komen’s new goals, beginning in January 2021, all money raised in the Puget Sound region will go to Komen’s HQ in Dallas and then directed where needed.

 

Legacy Community Gifts

Komen Puget Sound’s priority since 1994 has been our local breast cancer community, and it is our priority in this transition. From money raised this fall during the Virtual MORE THAN PINK Walk®, Virtual Lunch for the Cure and third-party events, we recently provided $200,000 in legacy community gifts to our long-time and trusted partners. These organizations prioritize the most vulnerable breast cancer and metastatic breast cancer community members and provide treatment assistance, screenings and patient navigation. These gifts honor our work over the years and continue to further our commitment to creating a more equitable health care system.

Organizations receiving funds are:

Our friends at Models of Courage also agreed to reallocate their remaining funding with us to provide an additional $10,000 to our COVID-19 Action Fund and $4,000 to Washington state breast cancer patients seeking non-medical financial support through the Ford Warriors’ The Pink Fund.

We are proud of the legacy of Komen Puget Sound. KPS began 26 years ago with CJ Taylor and a group of community volunteers, all of whom shared a vision of ending breast cancer forever. The region’s first Susan G. Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure® had 3,000 participants and raised $56,000. Over the years, KPS steadily grew its network of support, partnerships and activities and expanded its reach to include a 16-county service area in western Washington. KPS also became a powerful voice for health equity and healthcare accessibility and a national leader in supporting the Metastatic Breast Cancer community.

 

Thank You

Komen Puget Sound is family for many of you – family you gained during times of fear, loss and hope. We are honored to have been part of your family, and we deeply feel this change with you. We are truly grateful for all you have done for Komen and our community. Because of your unwavering commitment and generous support, Komen Puget Sound has contributed more than $10 million to national breast cancer research and awarded more than $30 million in community grants. In just the past 12 years, those community grants have made possible more than 500,000 services (mammograms, education, patient assistance, etc.). Together, we have made a true difference in the lives of breast cancer patients here and throughout the country.

We have every confidence that the Puget Sound community will continue to give generously to Komen and/or our local community organizations, treatment centers and research facilities – and fight breast cancer as relentlessly as ever. Until there is a cure, there will always be a great need in our community.

From the board and staff, we humbly thank you for all of your support these past years. Whether you’ve been here since the beginning or only a short time, we couldn’t have done all that we’ve been able to do in our community without you.

Please feel free to reach out with questions and comments at info@pskomen.org. We will do our best to respond to everyone who writes.

With much gratitude,
Amy P. Sing, MD, Board President
Molly O’Connor, Executive Director

 

Question & Answer

Q: What’s happening at Komen?

A:
Earlier this year, Susan G. Komen® announced that it is consolidating the entire national independent affiliate network and creating One Komen. It’s also transitioning to a completely remote workforce. The goal: centralize operations for efficiency and refocus the mission on research, advocacy and national patient programs that aren’t limited to the geographic boundaries of the existing affiliate network.

Q: What does this mean for Komen Puget Sound?

A:
The physical office in downtown Seattle has closed. The last day for all KPS staff is Dec. 31, 2020. On Jan. 1, 2021, KPS will transition its community engagement and mission efforts to Komen’s new regional community development and national mission teams. Komen remains committed to communities, but we don’t know yet what that will look like locally in terms of future staffing, events, activities and investments. To support Komen’s new goals, beginning in January 2021, all money raised in the Puget Sound region will go to Komen’s HQ in Dallas and then directed where needed.

Q: Why is Komen Puget Sound making these decisions instead of consolidating?

A: When the announcement was made, we were told that KPS wouldn’t consolidate and see changes until later in 2021. Unfortunately, fundraising has been extremely difficult this year. It also became clearer that money raised in the Puget Sound region in the future would not stay here. We decided recently that it was best to close the office and release the staff, so that we could honor donor intent and make a community investment.

Q: Can we change this outcome?

A:
No. Consolidation of the Komen affiliate network is underway, and individual affiliates do not have the option to continue to operate as they always have. We do sincerely hope that our community will find ways to work with Komen in the future.

Q: Is this big change happening in other communities too?

A:
Yes.

Q: Will the Puget Sound region still have a MORE THAN PINK Walk, lunches, galas and other community events in the future?

A:
That is for Komen HQ to decide.

Q: What is happening to the money that was raised during the Virtual MORE THAN PINK Walk, Virtual Lunch for the Cure and other 2020 events?

A:
Komen Puget Sound’s priority since 1994 has been our local breast cancer community, and it is our priority in this transition. From money raised this fall during the Virtual MORE THAN PINK Walk®, Virtual Lunch for the Cure and third-party events, we recently provided $200,000 in community gifts to our long-time and trusted partners. These organizations prioritize the most vulnerable breast cancer and metastatic breast cancer community members and provide treatment assistance, screenings and patient navigation. These gifts honor our work over the years and continue to further our commitment to creating a more equitable health care system. The organizations receiving funds are:

  • WA State Department of Health (Breast, Cervical and Colon Health Program)
  • Korean Women’s Association (Community Health Workers and Patient Navigators)
  • International Community Health Services (Breast Health Outreach, Prevention, and Education – B-HOPE)
  • South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency (Native Women’s Wellness Program)
  • Latino Community Fund (Women’s Health Outreach Program)

Our friends at Models of Courage also agreed to reallocate their remaining funding with us to provide additional funds to our COVID-19 Action Fund and to Washington state breast cancer patients seeking support through the Ford Warriors’ The Pink Fund.

Q: What will Komen Puget Sound do with the rest of its money?

A:
In addition to providing the legacy community gifts described above, we paid off a number of liabilities, including our office lease and some debt to Komen HQ. We also gave a modest severance to staff. Remaining funds will go to Komen HQ to support research and the organizational transition.

Q: Who will do the work Komen Puget Sound has been doing for decades?

A:
While Komen Puget Sound was a unifying force, a community partner, investor and powerful advocate, we believe our trusted community partners will find ways to keep doing this work, but they will need help.

Q: How can I continue to support the breast cancer community?

A:
The Komen mission remains unchanged, and the national organization will continue to address community needs through national programs, including but not limited to, the Treatment Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance for people undergoing breast cancer treatment, and the national hotline (1-877-GO KOMEN).

Q: How can I continue to directly support the Puget Sound breast cancer community?

A:
We are fortunate to be home to a number of trusted community organizations (see our recent funding recipients), excellent treatment centers and world-renowned research facilities. You can continue to give directly to them and volunteer with them. While they need your financial support, they also need advocates and connections to survivors, experts and others.