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SUHI Project: Helping Her Live - Gaining Control of Breast Cancer



 Helping Her Live: Gaining Control of Breast Cancer


The very large Black:White disparity in breast cancer mortality in Chicago is unacceptable.  Between 2005-2009, the Chicago disparity (48%) in breast cancer mortality was the seventh largest in the country. Additionally, disparities in the stage of breast cancer at diagnosis also exist nationally, with Latinas (36%) and African American women (85%) more likely to be diagnosed with further advanced breast cancer than white women.


In addition, SUHI designed and implemented a Community Navigation program, titled Helping Her Live: Gaining Control of Breast CancerFunded by the Avon Foundation, this innovative community approach to improve breast health outcomes was launched in October 2008 and targets two underserved and racially/ethnically diverse Chicago communities: North Lawndale and Humboldt Park.  HHL's Community Health Workers/ Navigators conduct numerous outreach activities to meet women where they live in the community and to navigate them to optimal breast health services, including screening mammograms, follow-up to abnormal mammograms, services for women with breast symptoms, and any treatment as needed.



     Project Brochure                                                 HHL at a Glance



Thanks to generous contributions from:




The following reports describe how the project was developed and some of its key accomplishments.  


2013 Annual Avon Progress Report


For 2008-2013 reports, click here.

Project Updates:

HHL Receives Funding From Susan G. Komen Chicagoland Area Affiliate, May 2014

The Chicagoland Area Affiliate of Susan G. Komen awarded Helping Her Live $75,000 to continue the work of two Community Health Educators/Navigators. For the complete press release, please click here

HHL Receives Funding From Lynn Sage to Expand into Chicago Lawn, September 2013

The Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation has awarded Helping Her Live and Dr. Melissa Simon, a renowned Northwestern physician, $100,000 a year for three years to expand the work of the HHL program into the Chicago Lawn community area on the southwest side of Chicago.  HHL is a breast cancer navigation program that assists underinsured/uninsured women in obtaining a mammogram for free or at low cost.  Currently, the program serves Humboldt Park, North and South Lawndale, East and West Garfield Park, and Austin.  With this additional funding, HHL will be able to hire two additional Community Health Educators to assist women in Chicago Lawn.

HHL Participates in the McDonald's First Annual Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk, August 2013

On Saturday, August 17th, Oreletta Garmon and Dr. Chela Sproles of Helping Her Live participated in the First Annual Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk in Oak Brook, IL.  There were over 600 people present.  All of the proceeds were donated to three local breast cancer organizations in the Chicagoland area:  The Cancer Coalition for Life, Mujeres Latinas En Acción and the Barbara Bates Foundation.  The Barbara Bates Foundation donated $50,000 to Helping Her Live last year and continues to be committed to the mission of HHL.    


HHL Refunded at the 2013 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, June 2013

On June 2, 2013, Sinai Health System and SUHI were awarded $250,000 for another year to recruit, educate, empower and navigate uninsured and underinsured women in North Lawndale, Humboldt Park, East and West Garfield Park and Austin through the mammography process. HHL’s team of Community Health Educators (Navigators) work with women and healthcare facilities to obtain annual screenings, eliminate delays in obtaining test results, and ensure that the appropriate follow up is conducted.

Between January and December 2012, HHL reached 535 women through 29 educational workshops; 1,317 women through 26 community events; and 1,332 women through 97 woman-to-woman activities.  Altogether in 2012, HHL hosted or participated in 152 outreach activities that reached over 3,000 women.  In 2012, HHL navigators completed 544 screening or diagnostic mammograms (about 45 per month), far exceeding our goal of 30 completed mammograms per month. 

At the conclusion of the Avon Walk, Marc Hurlbert, Executive Director of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, presented a check for $250,000 to Oreletta Garmon of Sinai Urban Health Institute for its Helping Her Live program.


HHL Recognized by The West Side Collaborative, January 2013

Helping Her Live was honored to receive a Certificate of Appreciation for our advocacy and support for the women at Facing Forward to End Homelessness and Deborah's Place by improving their education, access and awareness of Breast Cancer.  The West Side Collaborative is a strategic partnership between nonprofit social service providers formed to promote the health and well-being of vulnerable populations in Chicago’s West Side communities.  

The Barbara Bates Foundation Partners with Lynn Sage to Benefit Sinai Health System and Helping Her Live, October 2012

The “Knocking Out Breast Cancer” fundraiser and fashion show took place on October 28, 2012.  Beautiful breast cancer survivors modeled the latest looks of fashion designer and fellow survivor, Barbara Bates.  Proceeds from the event will benefit Sinai Health System and SUHI’s Helping Her Live Program.  

To read more about the event, click here.


For 2008-2012 events and updates, click here.





Contact Information:

For more information about this project, please contact Jackie Kanoon at