Laurene M. Tumiel-Berhalter, PhD.

Laurene M. Tumiel-Berhalter, PhD (left), and Chester H. Fox, MD, are involving patient ambassadors in an innovative community outreach program.

Komen Grant Supports UB Mammography Outreach

Published May 13, 2013

The Department of Family Medicine’s Primary Care Research Institute will use a $70,000 grant from the Western New York Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure for mammography outreach.

“We are breaking down barriers to mammography screening and creating a system that is sustainable after the grant ends.”
Laurene M. Tumiel-Berhalter, PhD
Associate professor of family medicine

Two family medicine faculty members—Laurene M. Tumiel-Berhalter, PhD, associate professor, and Chester H. Fox, MD, professor—are leading the project.

Targeting Buffalo’s Medically Underserved

Targeting low income, urban women age 40 and older, the goal is to increase mammography screening, in part by addressing transportation and financial barriers.

At each of four family practice sites in Buffalo, screenings will be available monthly in a mammography bus operated by Western New York Breast Health.

The sites are:

Breaking Down Barriers to Mammography Screening

To ensure that cost is not a deterrent, the mammography unit staff will link uninsured patients with the free Cancer Services Program of Erie County.

In addition, the system put in place is meant to endure. “It is hoped that the practices will continue hosting the mobile mammography unit after the grant ends” in March 2014, says Tumiel-Berhalter.

“We are breaking down barriers to mammography screening and creating a system that is sustainable,” she says. “This project is a great example of how to link primary care and community services to provide patient-centered care.”

Network Involves Patients

The project also involves patient ambassadors from the Patient Voices Network, a partnership between the institute and patients from medically underserved areas in Buffalo.

“The concept for this project was developed by patient ambassadors from the participating practices,” says Tumiel-Berhalter. They will encourage women to be screened, offer support and educational materials and assist the practice on the day the mammography unit is at the site.

Tumiel-Berhalter, who directs the institute’s community translational research, established Patient Voices in 2010.

UB Faculty Accept Award

UB was one of five grantees awarded a total of $267,000 from the Western New York Komen affiliate in 2013.

These annual awards support breast health education, community outreach and breast cancer screening in underserved communities in the affiliate’s eight-county service area.

Tumiel-Berhalter and Project Manager Megan Wilson accepted the award April 18 during a kickoff luncheon for the affiliate’s Race for the Cure fundraiser.

Since 2001, the Western New York organization has raised more than $3.5 million through this annual race.

This year’s event takes place June 8 at the Delaware Park Rose Garden.