The Promise Fund of Florida was created to meet the needs of women in Florida at high risk for breast and cervical cancer who lack accessible and affordable health care.
Its mission is to address disparities and health care inequities faced by at-risk Florida women, providing them with qualified navigators who can access appropriate community resources to help reduce death and improve outcomes from these cancers. Its goal is to raise $5 million by 2021.
During the past several years, the state’s health care resources have not kept up with the increasing population of women who have moved to Florida, a situation exacerbated by the massive influx of those affected by Hurricane Maria in 2017.
In addition, when Florida opted out of expanding Medicaid coverage in 2018, it reduced another much-needed resource for underserved women.
And, ironically, although many national charities choose southern Florida as a venue for fundraising events in the winter months, most of the money raised in Florida does not stay in Florida.
That was why some concerned women in the Palm Beach-Martin counties area decided it was time to establish a community-based safety net for those at risk for breast and cervical cancer who were not being served by existing resources.
Nancy G. Brinker, who founded Susan G. Komen in 1982, which grew to be the world’s largest breast cancer charity, together with Julie Cummings and Laurie Silvers reasoned that with inadequate national and state resources, it made sense to create a model that could serve their community’s needs first and eventually be shared with other communities in Florida and beyond.
And so was born the donor-advised Promise Fund of Florida—housed at the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin counties and structured to fund the creation of an optimally efficient model of community-health breast and cervical cancer navigators trained to help women at-risk through their journeys from cancer screening throughout treatment and beyond, if necessary.
The Promise Fund does not intend to duplicate services already in place, but rather to assess and access what is available and navigate women through the often daunting health care systems in their respective communities more effectively and efficiently, including helping them with transportation, meals, childcare and other possible obstacles to obtaining health care.
It will be financed through a donor-advised fund and third-party events rather than spending money on fundraising events to ensure that monies raised are directed into the local program.
Through observational studies, scientific advisors Otis W. Brawley, MD and Haywood Brown, MD, are developing a new standard for certified, culturally competent navigation services that can be adapted by other communities.
Dr. Brawley is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University and the former chief medical and scientific officer with the national American Cancer Society.
Dr. Brown is vice president for Diversity, Inclusion & Equal Opportunity and Title IX Administrator with the University of South Florida System, and a former president of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Navigators—who will be selected and trained by professionals adhering to these standards— will live within the communities they serve and collaborate with local health care organizations and resources to guide patients to available services.
The Promise Fund hopes to create a database to serve as a clearinghouse of community-based resources and services, and funds will be distributed through a peer-review grant mechanism to support the training of patient navigators.
For additional information or to make a donation, please contact Ellen Andel at 561.846.0808.
Give to The Promise Fund of Florida
The Promise Fund of Florida makes a promise to our community for today and beyond to respond to breast and cervical health needs.