BREAST CANCER: California First Lady Announces $8 Million Grant
California First Lady Sharon Davis yesterday joined several organizations to announce a $8.35 million grant for breast cancer treatment. Donated by the California HealthCare Foundation, the California Endowment and the California Health Collaborative, the grant will be used to treat low-income, uninsured women with breast cancer. The money will go into the California Breast Cancer Treatment Fund to sustain services for a period of 18 months and fund a policy action plan to secure a long-term sustainable funding solution. "In funding the program over the next year and a half, we are pleased to help ensure accessible health care for those who need it," said Mark Smith, CEO of CHCF. "For the future, breast cancer patients need quality care funded on a sound, ongoing basis," he said (CHCF release, 3/18). A bill introduced by state Sen. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo), which supporters hope will be enacted by the time the funding runs out, would provide $15 million annually for the program. SB 1154 would also raise the poverty level that qualifies women for the program from 200% to 300% (Henshaw, Sacramento Bee/Capitol Alert, 3/19).
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In related news, the California Medical Association and California Medical Review Inc. have launched a statewide campaign to encourage Medicare recipients to get annual mammograms, the Modesto Bee reports. The campaign will include public service announcements, brochures in English and Spanish displayed in medical offices and letters sent to doctors urging them to remind patients about routine mammograms (Birch, 3/18).