Susan G. Komen Colorado ensures women and men in Colorado have access to quality, affordable breast health and breast cancer care. For most women and men in the state, access is already available. For others, though, access to care can be a challenge for a variety of reasons.
In order to meet those challenges, Komen Colorado conducts a needs assessment every four years. Komen Colorado analyzes qualitative testimonies (patient testimonies, interviews with oncologists and nurses) and quantitative data from the community and health systems to determine and understand the needs in the state.
Once the information is gathered and analyzed, Komen Colorado determines where funding and resources are most needed to ensure all Coloradans have access to breast health and breast cancer care. This is outlined in a Community Profile report.
Komen Colorado closely looks are two pieces of information to determine which communities struggle the most with getting breast health and breast cancer care:
- Late-stage diagnosis rates (diagnoses of stage III or IV)
- Mortality (death) rates
Communities that experience higher late-stage diagnoses and/or mortality rates compared to others often have significant barriers that prevent them from receiving quality and timely care.
The Community Profile informs funding priorities for the next four years, until Komen Colorado conducts a new assessment and starts the process over again.
Due to limited resources, Komen Colorado cannot meet the full need in the community and has to make decisions on which communities to prioritize. This is why the needs assessment process is so important to the organization’s operations. Komen Colorado must highlight communities, both geographically and culturally, to receive education and clinical services.