Tunnell Cancer Center receives grant from Susan G. Komen Philadelphia

Present at the announcement of a grant from Susan G. Komen Philadelphia are (l-r) Carlos Hernandez, program director, Grants and Public Policy for the Philadelphia affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; Judy Kellem, board secretary, Komen; Ron Harper, Esq., board president for Komen; Debbie Campbell, RN, nurse navigator at Tunnell Cancer Center; Amanda Gross, event coordinator at Tunnell Cancer Center; and Elaine I. Grobman, CEO, Komen Philadelphia. SOURCE SUBMITTED
April 8, 2014

Susan G. Komen Philadelphia recently announced the awarding of $1,103,512 in grants to 12 organizations to advance critical and lifesaving breast cancer education, early detection and treatment, as well as support for survivors, in 2014-15.

Beebe Healthcare’s Tunnell Cancer Center received a Screening/Treatment Grant from the Komen Philadelphia Community Grants Program to fund its program Sharing Our Stories, Saving Our Sisters, which focuses on prevention and diagnosis of breast cancer in minority and underserved populations in Sussex County. This includes educational outreach, free screenings and the funding of mammograms and often diagnostic biopsies if the patient is unable to pay.

“Our Community Grants Program has always focused on saving lives and establishing foundations that better the odds for future generations to survive breast cancer," said Elaine I. Grobman, chief executive officer of Susan G. Komen Philadelphia. "However, we've entered a new era in our fight. We've made great progress in educating and motivating women to talk about breast cancer, practice early detection and prioritize their breast heath… and this progress means more women than ever are now seeking help.

"Komen Philadelphia and the grantees that carry out our mission truly have had to evolve our work to meet the demand. We have an even greater responsibility to the 3.7 million women we serve to assure every one of them has ready access to the doctors, services and support that save lives. Komen Philadelphia and our grantees are making sure that happens."

“We are honored to once again receive this grant,” said Cherrie Rich, RN, MSN, executive director of Oncology Services at Beebe Healthcare. “Sharing Our Stories, Saving Our Sisters, is a program that works in conjunction with our nationally accredited Breast Health Program to provide comprehensive and seamless care to our patients. Thanks to the grants, we have been able to reach out to thousands of people in Sussex County since 2010.”

Komen Philadelphia distributes grants to organizations that work with the medically underserved, including uninsured and underinsured individuals, and those who may not receive adequate care because of barriers such as language, cultural differences and fear. Grants are made possible by the organization's family of supporters ranging from Race for the Cure sponsors and participants to educational program sponsors to individual donors.

“This grant recognizes the commitment of our staff members who are dedicated to making sure that all people in the communities we serve have access to the kinds of programs and services that can help them stay healthy,” said Jeffrey M. Fried, FACHE, president and CEO of Beebe Healthcare. “The importance of the SOS² program funded by the grant is to reach a population that often does not seek out medical care. It is a program that embodies our vision of making Sussex County one of the healthiest counties in the nation.”

A complete list of 2014-15 grantees, grant type and funded program for each is available at

"Our grantees are highly capable and extremely devoted … they are out in our neighborhoods every day to assure women have access right now to the services they need to detect breast cancer as early as possible and, if needed, face a diagnosis with the best possible care," said Carlos Hernandez, program director, Grants & Public Policy, Komen Philadelphia.

Paul Minnick, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, executive vice president /chief operating officer at Beebe Healthcare, also commended the dedication of Judith Ramirez, manager of Oncology Population Health, who has guided SOS² since its inception in 2009.

“Today, this program has a network of lay navigators reaching into many communities throughout Sussex County, educating them about the importance of mammography and other cancer screenings. These efforts allow us to touch the lives of thousands of people, and provide care to those who need it. It took tireless hours by Judith and many others to get us to where we are today,” Minnick said.

Komen Philadelphia is part of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Visit for more information.

Tunnell Cancer Center was established in 1995. It has received the Commission on Cancer's highest accreditation with commendation as a comprehensive community cancer center. Its clinical specialties are medical oncology/hematology and radiation oncology.

For more information about Beebe Healthcare visit