Latina Initiative




Poder y Vida

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Latinas. In Oregon, Latinas have a higher percentage of late stage breast cancer diagnosis than average, while breast cancer screening rates for Latinas nationally have been lower than average. These disparities, coupled with the rapid growth of the Latino population in our region, have made Latinas a high priority for Komen.

View our Spanish Breast Health Messages
Multimedia courtesy of KUNP Univision-MUNDOFox

Komen’s Fotnovela
Nos Queda Mucha Vida Que Disfrutar La Prevencion Es Clave


 Thank you to our major partners


Jackson Foundation
Juan Young Trust
Meyer Memorial Trust
Oregon Community Foundation
Project Access NOW
Reser Family Foundation
Spirit Mountain Community Fund
The Collins Foundation
The Standard Charitable Foundation
Walgreens Foundation
Wells Fargo Foundation
Wessinger Foundation
Wheeler Foundation


What is Poder y Vida?

A culturally specific initiative to advance breast health equity focused on decreasing late stage breast cancer diagnoses among Latinas in NW Oregon and SW Washington (13 counties).

In the NW Metro area 12% of females are Latinas. Of the 35,000 Latinas over age 40, a third are uninsured. 36% of Latina cancer cases in NW Oregon are diagnosed at late stage compared to 26% non Latinas.


Taking Action

  • We convened 17 Latino serving organizations in our community.
  • We asked them to brainstorm how we could reduce late stage diagnosis among Latinas in a way that honored community strength and existing barriers to care.
  • Together we developed the Poder y Vida project.

We implemented multimedia outreach to Latinas and their families to raise awareness.  These were produced in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente NW, KUNP Univision MundoFox and other Poder y Vida partners.

Utilized popular education based breast health training designed specifically for Latino volunteers, community members, and community health workers. Want us to come speak to your Latina/o group in Spanish or English? Call 503.546.7446.

Involved community health workers to implement a Pathways to Breast Health model in four communities identified as having high numbers of late stage diagnosis cases.


What is a Pathways Model and how does this all work?

It’s an intervention and funding model that provides a realistic and simple path from a target person to a target outcome with payments and equal to the outcomes achieved. In our model we want Latinas most at risk for late stage diagnosis to get screened and understand their results.

We fund organizations trusted by the local Latino community to have their community health workers (CHW) implement the Pathways Model. The CHW Addresses barriers to breast health encountered along the way. Our Pathways partners are Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center and Northwest Family Services.

Target communities include Inner East PDX, Gresham/Rockwood, Beaverton/Aloha, and Salem/Keizer.


Our Target Outcomes (5 Years)

  • Increase breast health awareness to 35,000 Latinas and their families.
  • Increase screening in targeted locals by 10%.
  • Decrease late stage breast cancer diagnoses by 14% in NW Oregon.


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