Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D.
© 2011 Ken Levinson
The holiday season and the start of a new year are always good times to reflect on the year that has passed. It is also a wonderful time to share my gratitude for the opportunity to be the CEO of this amazing organization and look forward to future organizational success.
Our nation, our state, our city and metropolitan area are in the throes of an economic crisis unlike any that we have seen in our lifetime. The ranks of the vulnerable have increased over the past few years fueled by unemployment and the reduction of government social and health services. At the same time, the demand for affordable healthcare has grown as the number of people covered by health insurance and government programs has declined.
During these difficult economic times, I am proud that Komen Greater NYC has been able to play a significant role in helping keep many uninsured, underinsured, economically disadvantaged, immigrant, physically disabled, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in our service territory from falling between the cracks.
Thanks to you and our wonderful corporate sponsors, we were able to award a record breaking amount of grants this year — $4.8 million — of which $3.3 million specifically went to fund community-based breast health programs providing educational outreach, screening coordination, support and treatment and access to clinical trials to women who, without our help, may have had no access to the health care system whatsoever. We also contributed $1.5 million to national research to help find the cures for breast cancer. I am also grateful that our money will help ensure that women over 40 get mammograms —giving them the best chance for early diagnosis and successful treatment in the event that breast cancer is identified.
We fully recognize that we could not have the tremendous success that we have had to date without our generous supporters and volunteers. We cannot say “thank you” enough for your support and generosity. Certainly, I must also express my gratitude to our incredibly supportive Board, my incomparable, committed and hard-working #1 Komen Greater New York City team and all of our fabulous volunteers without whom none of our successes would be possible.
As I reflect on the past year, I think about all our terrific events — the Komen Greater NYC Race for the Cure, the Annual Awards Luncheon, Tickled Pink!, the Pink Soirée, our first Westchester event — events that have helped us raise the money we need to do our important work.
I also smile when I think about the thousands of beautiful and proud survivors in their pink shirts on Race Day and this year’s survivor and Corporate honorees — Pat Battle of NBC4 New York and Accenture at our Awards Luncheon, Lisa Vernale Fusco at the Race and Theresa Lana and Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Pink Soirée. I can still visualize our wonderful survivor models walking the runway with their families at Ticked Pink! and victoriously celebrating as they walked the catwalk at the Celebration of Women.
Many survivors, including me, are celebrating life today thanks to the money that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization has invested in education, treatment, research and advocacy over the past 30 years — money that has resulted in more awareness, more effective treatments and more lives saved.
It is indeed very gratifying to reflect on past successes, however, the close of one year and the beginning of another is also a great time to look to the future. In 2012, as those of you who know me already know, we are setting our sights even higher! We are determined to make many new and lasting memories, memories that will positively impact the lives of the women and families we are charged to serve. And let me tell you, we have some real surprises in store for you! Please check the events calendar on our website www.komennyc.org to learn more about what we’re planning so you can save the date on your calendars. You won’t want to miss out!
On behalf of the Board and Staff at Komen Greater NYC, we wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy New Year. And just in case you are still looking for a really special gift for someone on your list, consider giving the gift of life — a donation to Komen Greater NYC. Your support will allow us to continue making a difference in the lives of thousands of women and families impacted by breast cancer in 2012 and the years to come.
Again, many thanks for giving me, the entire Komen Greater NYC Team and most importantly, the women and families we serve, so many wonderful reflections and warm feelings of gratitude.I look forward to thanking you personally at one of our 2012 events!