Our Community Need
Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) is a government program that has established 10-year objectives for improving American’s health by the year 2020. The Komen Virginia Blue Ridge Affiliate reviewed HP2020 trends and has identified areas within the service area where it will take 13 years or longer to meet the HP2020 objectives related to breast cancer: reducing mortality rates and numbers of late-stage diagnoses. Specific to the mission, the Affiliate will focus strategic efforts on five selected target communities over the next five years.
The community profile is a local needs assessment conducted every five years by Komen Virginia Blue Ridge. The goal of the 2015 Community Profile Report is to identify the cities and counties in the Affiliate service area with the highest breast cancer incidence, late-stage, and death rates. It helps the Affiliate take a closer look at the community and how we can better serve the people who need us the most.
Background information for the 2015 Community Profile Report was gathered for the Affiliate via focus groups, key informant interviews, breast cancer data, and demographic data. All of the background information was analyzed, gaps were identified, and priorities were established for the next five years.
Findings from the Komen Virginia Blue Ridge Affiliate 2015-2019 Community Profile Report reveal that access to and timely progression through the breast cancer continuum of care is believed to reduce breast cancer mortality rates and numbers of late-stage diagnoses. Receiving regular screening mammograms lowers an individual’s risk of dying from breast cancer; however, individuals often present with late-stage diagnoses and would have a greater chance of survival if the breast cancer was found early and treated. In addition, mortality and late-stage incidence rates are highest among Black women. Disparities in breast health education and services are influenced by the rural landscape and socioeconomic barriers.
The Affiliate used these findings to develop a Mission Action Plan that includes strategies for improving the breast health of residents living in communities where breast cancer late-stage and death rates are the highest. The Affiliate uses these findings to develop new programs, focus media attention on key issues, align education programs, and guide grant making toward a common mission.
In 2016, the Affiliate underwent an expansion in southwest Virginia, bringing the total service area to 42 cities and counties. Komen Virginia Blue Ridge added 2 cities and 9 counties that were previously in Komen Tri-Cities’ service area. The 2015 Community Profile Report has been updated to include data from the following cities and counties can be found below: Bristol, Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Norton, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, and Wise.
Through the Community Profile Report, Komen Virginia Blue Ridge Affiliate has identified the following target communities:
- The Central Blue Ridge Region (Roanoke County, Roanoke City, Radford City)
- The South Central Region (Patrick County, Henry County, Martinsville City)
- Wythe County
- Danville City
- Lynchburg City
- Bristol City
- Washington County