In October 2007, the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force released a landmark report, outlining specific action steps and policy recommendations to improve breast health outcomes for all women. The final report including 37 recommendations to tackle breast cancer disparities in Chicago entitled Improving Quality and Reducing Breast Cancer Disparities in Metropolitan Chicago can be found here and under our resource library:
In the fall of 2008, the Office of the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force was established through generous funding by the Avon Foundation. Today the Task Force is a 501(c)3 not for profit corporation here in Illinois with a mission to act as a catalyst to eliminate the inequality in the breast cancer death rate for all women of color here in Metropolitan Chicago. The Task Force leaves no stone unturned as we look for innovative ways to end this injustice.
In 2009, the Task Force's recommendation to create a Consortium of healthcare providers was realized with the establishment of the Chicago Breast Cancer Quality Consortium with generous funding from Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. This Consortium brings together healthcare providers from across Metropolitan Chicago to share breast cancer quality data across the continuum of breast cancer screening through diagnosis and treatment. In September 2009, the Consortium became the first federally designated Patient Safety Organization dedicated exclusively to breast health.
In 2010, the Task Force had its first Symposium bringing together all the hospitals participating in the Consortium to discuss the first year of our collaborative data collection and analysis. The healthcare providers brainstormed together to discuss the barriers to best quality care and to work together to devise solutions.
Also in 2010, the Task Force established an advocacy campaign to increase funding for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, which funds breast care for uninsured women. Women of color disproportionately rely on this program and underfunding will surely drive up the death rate for those who are turned away and so contribute to the current injustice where some women die at much higher rates from breast cancer compared to others. The Task Force established an On Line and in person Petition Campaign and secured a budget hearing devoted to this funding crisis. Through these and many other efforts, the Task Force was successful in securing an additional $4.9 million in funding for this program in state Fiscal Year 2010. The Campaign continues to increase funding in this upcoming state Fiscal Year and we are reaching out to create partnerships across many organizations.