Susan G. Komen San Francisco Bay Area is proud to be a part of a statewide initiative to address the breast healthcare disparities among African American women.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in this community. While incidence rates are lower, African American women suffer significantly higher mortality rates; 41 percent higher than their Caucasian counterparts. For women without health coverage, the burden is even higher – uninsured women have a 30 to 50 percent increased risk of dying from breast cancer than those with insurance. This alarming trend is the result of compounding social, cultural, financial and geographic barriers, and is simply unacceptable in light of the overall improvement in mortality rates since the 1990s.

What is Circle of Promise?

The Komen San Francisco Bay Area Affiliate, together with the six other affiliates in California, is working to address breast cancer disparities at both the system and individual levels. Our state-wide initiative will enable Komen to coordinate and deliver partnerships and resources that assist African American women most in need.

The initiative will provide:
• Community Organization: Building partnerships and leveraging strategic relationships to address barriers by pooling resources, sharing best practices, reducing redundancies in services, and uniting partners around the project’s goals and objectives.
• Direct Education:  Komen-supported community educators will provide direct outreach and aid women in scheduling a mammogram appointment. These educators will also provide continuous follow-up to support women through the process and increase the rate of completed mammograms.
• Screening and Navigation Services: Komen’s community organizing practices will help to identify available services, ensure that services meet the standard 60 day quality care benchmarks and provide supplementary grants to fill any gaps in screening. Additionally, each Affiliate will utilize a grant-funded patient navigator to coordinate follow-up.

Achieving the Bold Goal: Closing the Gap in Breast Cancer Disparities in the East Bay


Initiative Moves Forward with Key Hire

Rhonda_Smith_HeadshotBreast Cancer Partner was founded in 2010 by Rhonda M. Smith who is a six-year breast cancer survivor and a business and marketing consultant. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the State-wide Initiative and play a key role in reversing the trend in the breast cancer disparities and outcome for African Americans here in California. What we are doing in California is epic and has the potential to impact the lives of women nationally as well,” said Smith.

“Breast Cancer Partner was chosen to lead this ground-breaking work for its proven track record of designing and implementing results-oriented programs,” said  Anita Brink, President of Susan G. Komen in San Francisco.  “When found in its earliest stages, breast cancer has a survival rate of nearly 98 percent. But a woman has to get a mammogram in order to catch breast cancer early. We needed a partner who shared our vision and passion for this work, with the depth and breadth of experience to ensure that we achieve the goals of the initiative and Breast Cancer Partner, led by Rhonda M. Smith, was the clear choice”, said Brink.


An Introduction to the Circle of Promise

This video was presented at Komen’s Leadership Opening Session on July 17, 2014 and features our very own Jackie Taylor, Komen Sacramento African American Ambassador and clips from the Susan G. Komen® Circle of Promise ® California Initiative (Empowering African American Women for Breast Health Care Access) Press Conference held in Sacramento on May 7th, 2014.

How Can You Join the Circle?

Join us: register today at and make your promise to take care of yourself first and then become an ambassador to your community! We’ll provide you with all of the resources and tools you need to make changes in your own life and to share lifesaving messages with others.

Spread the word: invite your girlfriends, mothers, sisters, daughters and co-workers to join the Circle of Promise. Tell them you want them to join you in the fight against breast cancer’s attack on the African American community before it’s too late.

Be active in your commitment: continue to fight with us by supporting public policy efforts, helping us to raise funds for research, and by making sure that the Circle of Promise is alive in your community!

If you have questions about available services please email: