Research, Early Detection, Survivor Support, Advocacy

CEO Letter

A busy summer has kicked off for Susan G. Komen Oregon and SW Washington.  Our programs continue to impact the community, and with events that generously support our mission.

In June, our program director and I had the opportunity to travel 1,200 miles to meet with community health partners across 11 counties in Eastern Oregon and in Eastern Washington, where hospitals and cancer centers provide breast cancer treatment for many Oregonians living in cities like Pendleton, Milton-Freewater, Umatilla, and Hermiston. Our aim is to insure that healthcare providers are aware of Komen resources available for travel assistance to patients in financial need. In Ontario, we were fortunate to visit with the breast cancer patient navigator at St. Alphonsus hospital, whose position was initially funded by Komen, several years ago, as the first patient navigator in Eastern Oregon. We continue to learn about the complex world of navigating breast health care in rural communities, along with the incredible work and collaborations that exist in the healthcare continuum to overcome barriers to treatment.  Komen is proud to offer its services and assistance in this effort. We will continue our outreach in August with a trip that will take us along the Oregon Coast from Astoria to Brookings, then travel over the Siskiyou mountains to the Rogue Valley and along Interstate 5 northward, with many meetings along the way.

We thank our Komen friends throughout the region who are raising breast health awareness as well as funds for Komen’s services. Please take time to read about their programs and support our partners. I have attended several of these events in the past and am always humbled by the dedication and commitment of families and friends supporting breast cancer survivors and fighters.

Summer also means we are gearing up for two big events to raise critical funds and provide survivor/fighter support. Komen is finalizing plans for our Watercraft on the Water with Row for the Cure, later this month at Vancouver Lake, Washington. We also recently launched Portland’s Race for the Cure registration with a new route and Pups in Pink. Please read more about these exciting events and join us as we paddle, row, float, run, and walk for those we love.

Our guiding star remains Komen’s Bold Goal to reduce breast cancer deaths in half by 2026. We can indeed accomplish this with your investment and support in Komen’s mission. As I have shared before, whether you volunteer, lend your expertise, or donate to Komen’s programs in a personal way, every ounce of effort makes a difference for the communities we serve, one precious individual at a time.

With Gratitude, 

Andrew Asato
Chief Executive Officer