Medline awarded three grants through its Community Impact Grant Program in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to organizations supporting breast cancer screening and care. The organizations include Michelle’s Place, Gilda’s Club Chicago and Equal Hope. The funding was raised through the sales of Medline’s signature Pink Products, which include an array of pink exam gloves, stethoscopes, pink patient plastic, surgical and procedure masks, pink scrubs, lab coats and other healthcare apparel, bandages and more.
“We are proud to help vital organizations like Equal Hope, Michelle’s Place and Gilda’s Club Chicago, who have been on missions to support communities battling cancer, through our grant program,” said Karen Frey, senior philanthropy manager at Medline. “The programs, resources and initiatives these groups offer are invaluable in helping those in need throughout all phases of their breast cancer journey.”
Mammogram screenings are one of the best defenses in catching the disease early, and California-based Michelle’s Place, is expanding access to these tests to drive awareness to the disease and was created in memory of Michelle Watson, a 26-year-old victim of breast cancer whose wish was to create a place to help support and provide resources for those effected by cancer. Kim Gerrish, executive director at Michelle’s Place, said she was deeply impacted by Michelle’s story and took a job as one of the group’s first employees to continue her legacy.
“As we celebrate 20 years of service to our community, I am extremely proud of the work we do and grateful for the support from organizations like Medline that allow us to provide cancer resources to over 1,600 patients annually,” said Gerrish. “Thank you for investing in women and their families dealing with breast cancer.”
The grant will be used to expand access and facilitate over 150 screening mammograms and ensure diagnostic breast health services to those in need. When it comes to screenings, it is recommended that you get annual mammogram every year starting at age 40 years old.
In addition, Gilda’s Club Chicago, a non-profit organization with resources available for anyone impacted by cancer, including breast cancer, provides emotional and social support. The organization was created by friends and family in honor of Gilda Radner, one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live, who passed away from ovarian cancer in 1989.
“At Gilda’s Club, our unique program is here to provide a halo of emotional and social support,” said Brad Most, marketing director at Gilda’s Club Chicago. “We’re here for the whole family, the whole time. When you hear the words ‘you have cancer’, there is a ripple effect of anxiety and uncertainty that instantly goes through the mind. We have the experience and understanding to help reduce these feelings and help families find answers, ask the right questions ahead of doctors’ visits and provide programs that help keep people active and engaged.”
The grant is being used to help expand and accelerate Gilda’s Club Chicago’s virtual platform and technology to reach those challenged with cancer in distressed Chicago neighborhoods. The group has a variety of virtual and hybrid programs available, with every activity 100% free for all members.
“The grant has helped us expand and advance our online delivery, launch a new website and member portal, and enhance our virtual program to ensure the best experience for those we serve,” said Bradford Newquist, director of development at Gilda’s Club Chicago. “In fact, those in our in-person programs that tried our virtual programs became even more engaged. We are continuing to grow, virtually being able to be anywhere in the world, and connect with more people impacted by cancer.”
Medline has donated $2.6M to breast cancer charities nationwide that support our campaign goal to raise awareness and early detection of breast cancer to help increase changes of survival.
Learn the other ways that Medline is addressing social determinants of health.