Komen Breast Care Program

Komen Breast Care Program for refugees provides outreach, education, navigation, screening, and follow up for breast care for refugee and immigrants originally from Somalia, the Middle East and Bosnia. Komen Breast Care Program for refugees is funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure ®. The Komen MA Affiliate has as its mission to eradicate breast cancer by advancing research, screening, care, and education. Their goals are to achieve 100% screening, 100% access, and 100% follow-up. Mass General Hospital and its Center for Community Health Improvement also support this program with goal to educate, screen and improve breast cancer care in all vulnerable refugee and immigrant women.


The program is open to vulnerable women in need of breast care who are refugees or immigrants speaking only Somali, Arabic or Serbo-Croatian receiving care at MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center or any other practice within the Mass General Hospital primary care network. For more information, please contact Sanja Percac-Lima, MD, and patient navigator Jelena Katadzic at (617) 887-4652.

 We reach out to patients in a variety of ways by

  • Contacting patients who are in need of a screening mammograms to educate and encourage them to undergo this process.
  • Facilitating communication between patients and their healthcare providers.
  • Assessing and addressing individual barriers to care, including limited English language skills, inadequate health insurance coverage, difficulties with transportation, child care, elder care, or work-related issues and unfamiliarity with the healthcare system through improved communication with patients and by conducting home visits whenever necessary.
  • Participating in outreach events and organizing educational activities to promote breat cancer awareness and screening.
  • Assisting with patient scheduling and appointment reminders. 


About this Program

In 2012,

  • 1339 refugee women were served by the Komen program and 144 received mammograms.
  • The Refugee Cancer Coordinator addressed barriers to care by assisting with scheduling 362 appointments, providing 162 patients with education, 161 language translations, 160 appointment reminders, 102 procedure/preparation instructions, 22 provider/clinic communications, 21 transpiration assistance, 16 accompaniments to appointments, and 5 prescription/pharmacy assistance.
  • 5 outreach/education events (breast health information tables) reached 265 participants.

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