Local Susan G. Komen chapter disaffiliates from headquarters, leaves $500k to other nonprofits

There’s a big shakeup for one of our area’s largest nonprofits.

The Virginia Blue Ridge Chapter of Susan G. Komen announced its disaffiliating from the national organization, and that means it will be closing its doors permanently.

This comes following headquarters’ decision to restructure from top to bottom.

The local chapter leaves behind $500,000 to other local organizations fighting breast cancer.

A release from the organization is below.

Susan G. Komen Virginia Blue Ridge, the regional breast cancer affiliate, today announced it will elect to disaffiliate from its recently restructured parent organization, Susan G. Komen. The election will formally take effect on December 3, 2020. The move will result in the closure of local operations, the layoff of two staff members and distribution of $500,000 in restricted gifts to local healthcare groups to direct towards breast cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, and patient services.

In April, Komen Headquarters announced a series of changes to its operations that included centralizing the operations of its Affiliate Network through the closure of 60 local offices and integrating the operations of the affiliates into its Dallas headquarters.

“Komen Headquarters has stressed they are not pulling out of affiliate communities. The reality is that, moving forward, money raised locally will no longer be as directly accessible to the people here in Southwest Virginia – particularly underinsured and at-risk individuals” said Catherine Warren, Executive Director, Susan G. Komen, Virginia Blue Ridge.

“While personally painful to so many of us in the breast cancer community, we know this move is the only way we can honor the donor intent of the funds that have been raised here,” added Tara Nepper, chair of the board of directors. “Our ongoing promise throughout our history has been that 75% of net proceeds are invested into local health care programs and resources to directly improve the lives and outcomes of southwest Virginians affected by breast cancer. That remains our promise and we’re pleased that so many wonderful local groups can continue our work and mission on our behalf.”

The Virginia Blue Ridge Affiliate Board of Directors voted in November to elect to disaffiliate effective December 3, 2020, and selected the following regional organizations to receive funding:

• Ballad Health

• Carilion Clinic

• Centra’s Pearson Cancer Center

• Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, Carla Finkielstein

• Martinsville Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness

• Piedmont Access to Health Services

• Virginia Department of Health, Mt. Rogers

Since its founding in 2006, Susan G. Komen Virginia Blue Ridge has funded $4.78 Million in support of their promise to end breast cancer. Komen Virginia Blue Ridge has invested $3.45 Million in community breast health services and $1.33 Million in breast cancer research.


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