Susan G. Komen for the Curehas awarded the West Virginia University Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center $300,000 over three years in efforts to decrease mortality from breast cancer in West Virginia.

“We are very thankful to receive funds from Komen. Their investment will allow us to greatly improve the health of West Virginians by working with partners across the state,”said Dr. Scot Remick, director of the cancer center.”We are able to build on the extraordinary opportunity given us by the gift of Jo and Ben Statler in order to launch the Bonnie’s Bus digital mobile mammography program statewide this fall and reduce breast cancer mortality in West Virginia.

Bonnie’s Bus is a mobile digital mammography unit named after Jo Statler’s late mother.

The Komen funds will support the building of networks and systems with three objectives in mind:

  • Ensure that women throughout the state who lack access to breast-screening services use the mobile mammography program
  • Help provide timely and appropriate care, including access to clinical trials, needed by users of Bonnies Bus
  • Track the results of early detection of breast cancer and access to care

This grant, over three years, will help ensure that Bonnies Bus reaches those most in need,said Diane Balma, vice president of strategic relations at Susan G. Komen for the Cure.Working togethergovernment, the cancer center, citizens, nonprofitswe can reach these women. We can ensure they are not overlooked and undertreated. We can realize the cancer centers goalreducing breast cancer death rates in targeted counties by 25 percentin other words, saving lives.”

West Virginias cancer mortality rates are the third highest in the nation, with McDowell County reported to have the seventh highest breast cancer mortality in the country.

“We are very thankful also to the West Virginia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, who has been very engaged and supportive of these efforts to fight breast cancer,Remick said.The West Virginia Affiliate has provided funding to determine further where in West Virginia the problems with breast cancer mortality were most severe and laid important groundwork for the upcoming rollout of Bonnie’s Bus. The state affiliate is also providing support for educational and outreach marketing materials related to Bonnie’s Bus.”

For more information about WVU s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/mbrcc/ .