Summary of the 2011 Komen Pittsburgh Community Profile Priorities:
For the full 2011 Komen Pittsburgh Community Profile Report, please click here.
1) Increase and broaden breast health care awareness in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.
In the Affiliate, Allegheny County holds the largest population of women and includes over 36,000 African American women over the age of 40. Highest of the target communities, Pittsburgh has up to 26% of women without health insurance. Addressing outreach, education and access in this dense population has the potential to increase screening leading to earlier stage diagnoses and reducing overall mortality.
2) Improve awareness of and access to timely breast health care in underserved and hard to reach groups of women.
Through our experience with recruiting women to participate in focus groups as well as discussions with Key Informants, we have found that women in these populations need a specialized approach to become engaged in the Breast Health Continuum of Care. KI need assistance in developing programs for such outreach and can be expanded to address participation in clinical trials. The late-stage breast cancer diagnosis of African American women as well as a higher mortality rate indicates that they are a group which can be positively impacted through this priority.
3) Identify and fund innovative practices that can help improve access to and remaining in the Breast Health Continuum of Care by reducing barriers for insulated populations in urban and rural settings.
Women in the communities ranked Communication and Health Choices as important to all facets of the continuum. The sheer number of factors (94) which women identified as influencing a woman’s decisions lets us know that there exists many ways to impact how a woman participates in breast health. A classic barrier such as transportation was at least partially met by community programs (in Meadville and Huntingdon) as well as assistance provided by KI organizations (in Pittsburgh). Other factors included the Logistic Barriers and Support which may be answered by programs to make access easier and more affordable mammography. Programs which address the financial burden of copays and costs associated with treatment (travel, parking) may also be needed.
4) Increase communication among service providers within the Affiliate service area.
Through the focus groups as well as KI discussions, it was evident that both community members as well as health care providers are not aware of all resources available not only in their immediate area but also outside of it. In any setting, the sharing of information reduces duplicative efforts as well as increases the number of women able to be served. Within the Pittsburgh metropolitan area there is an abundance of expertise and array of health care providers, while it is limited in other areas. The need for women to travel for services or second opinions could be reduced by collaborations. KI expressed the lag time of services being available to women coupled with wanting to be the key source of information makes it imperative for open sharing of information on services and support issues. The affiliate may convene providers and initiate discussions to improve breast services to women in the area.