Komen® and Houston Leaders set to discuss disparities among African-American women

Houston community leaders meet to strategize on achieving health equity for African-American women facing breast cancer at Houston Disparities Roundtable

African American women in the Houston area and nationwide are nearly 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than Caucasian women. To change these numbers, Susan G. Komen® President and CEO Dr. Judy Salerno invited local Houston community leaders to participate in the Houston Disparities Roundtable on June 27, 2016 held at the McGovern Centennial Gardens, to start the dialogue of ways to work together in efforts to reduce these unacceptable disparities affecting African American women in the Houston community.

During the roundtable, leaders from local health, advocacy and government organizations along with Susan G. Komen® Houston, examined the recommendations and strategies needed to achieve health equity for African American women facing breast cancer in Houston. Key topics of the roundtable included: Advocacy & Policy, Clinical Trials, Genetic Testing, Research, and Patient Screening.

“It should be alarming to every Houstonian that African American women, although we are more likely to have had a mammogram in the past two years compared to other groups, are diagnosed more frequently with late stage breast cancer and are more likely to die than other women in our area,” Adriana Higgins Ed.D., Executive Director of Komen Houston, added. “Komen wants to address the problem, work with the community to find solutions and help save lives.”

Komen® Houston is working to turn these numbers around through education and targeted programming. For the 2016-2017 fiscal year, Komen Houston has awarded $1.7 million dollars in grants to 18 local healthcare organizations, which will address gaps and barriers to accessing breast health services and support the Komen Houston mission while enabling the underserved and uninsured detect and survive breast cancer.

Following the roundtable discussion, over 100 guests attended the Houston post-meeting reception held at the John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science. Attendees were treated to special remarks from Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee, State Representative Senfronia Thompson, Dr. Judy Salerno, President and CEO of Susan G. Komen® and a special musical performance by American Idol Finalist Lakisha Jones. KPRC 2 Severe Weather Team meteorologist Khambrel Marshall was the event emcee.

Key attendees to the Roundtable and Reception were Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee, U.S. House of Representatives (D- TX18th District), Rep. Senfronia Thompson, Texas House of Representatives (D-District 141), Dr. Judith A. Salerno, President and CEO, Susan G. Komen®, Khambrel Marshall, Weather Team and Houston Newsmakers Host, KPRC2, Lakisha Jones, American Idol Finalist and Melissa Bishop Murphy,Senior Director, National Government Relations & Multicultural Affairs, Pfizer, Inc.

Find more images from the Komen® Disparities Roundtable.


Susan G. Komen Houston honored breast cancer survivor attendees at the 2016 Houston Disparities Roundtable Reception. 

About Susan G. Komen®

Susan G. Komen® is 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. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $889 million in research and provided $1.95 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen®, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


About Susan G. Komen® Houston

Established in 1990 by passionate volunteers to support the individuals in need throughout the Houston area, Komen® Houston has granted over $52 million to local programs for breast cancer education and awareness campaigns, life-saving screening and treatment programs, and innovative cutting edge research.  Serving Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty and Montgomery counties, Komen® Houston continues its commitment to fundraising and grant making so that families battling breast cancer can get the treatment and support they need.

If you would like to learn about volunteer opportunities or get information about Komen ®Houston, visit www.komen-houston.org or call 713-783-9188.  


Inez Jackson

Susan G. Komen ®Houston