Federal funding will secure new Promise Fund Women’s Health Center at FoundCare Yolette Bonnet Center

West Palm Beach, Fla. (May 1, 2023) – Under-resourced women in Palm Beach County will soon have more access to breast and cervical cancer screenings, thanks to $894,100 in federal funding. Congresswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick secured the federal grant to replicate the Promise Fund of Florida’s Women’s Health Center at FoundCare Yolette Bonnet Center. Cherfilus-McCormick and Promise Fund leaders visited the West Palm Beach location for a tour of the Center and check presentation to celebrate the success.

The Promise Fund of Florida is a South Florida-based nonprofit. Its mission is to improve access to lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, services, and treatment for women, especially those facing financial and cultural health barriers. The Promise Fund credits its successful model to its culturally competent patient navigators, who provide comprehensive services, including health education, coordinating transportation, translation, and sometimes even childcare. It also relies heavily on community partnerships, such as with area hospitals that provide reduced cost or treatment at no cost to patients who are discovered to have cancer.

“We are incredibly grateful to Congresswoman Cherfilus-McCormick for her unwavering support of women in Palm Beach County,” said Ambassador Nancy Brinker, founder of the Promise Fund of Florida. “This funding will allow us to improve accessibility to quality, preventative breast and cervical cancer care to the 80,000 uninsured women in Palm Beach County — many of whom are facing barriers related to social determinants of health. We are excited to replicate our successful model, as seen at FoundCare Palm Springs, and catch these cancers early when they are still highly treatable.”

The community funding secured by Congresswoman Cherfilus-McCormick will specifically provide capital equipment and renovation to replicate Promise Fund’s Women’s Health Center at FoundCare Yolette Bonnet Center in West Palm Beach. Moreover, the funding will cover expenses associated with program operations and equipment (radiology reading fees; storage of ultrasound and mammogram images; accreditation for new capital equipment; maintenance for women’s health equipment; and letters to women letting them know their screening results).

“Cancer inflicts an emotional and physical toll on many families across Florida’s 20th Congressional District,” said Congresswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL-20). “Income level should never determine the quality of treatment that cancer patients receive. This funding is critical to dismantling barriers uninsured women face in accessing breast and cervical cancer care, reducing health disparities in Palm Beach County.”

President Joe Biden signed the fiscal year 2023 government funding bill into law, and in total, the Promise Fund is receiving over $2.7 million to help expand its model. Congresswomen Lois Frankel and Debbie Wasserman Schultz secured the other funding.

The Promise Fund’s model is to create a women’s health center at Federally Qualified Health Centers where women can easily get screened for breast and cervical cancers. For example, Promise Fund secured the donation of a mammography machine from medical technology company Hologic and placed it at FoundCare Palm Springs, the county’s largest non-governmental nonprofit FQHC. Before its arrival, only 10 percent of FoundCare patients who were referred for mammograms went on to receive one. Now, almost 60 percent do.

“The work we have accomplished together has been nothing short of remarkable,” said Christopher Irizarry, FoundCare Chief Executive Officer. “Through our partnership, we have been able to reach more women than ever before and provide them with the quality care they deserve. We are grateful to the Promise Fund of Florida and Congresswoman Cherfilus-McCormick, for their unflagging commitment to this important cause.”

Since launching the patient-centered navigation component of the Continuum of Care model in 2018, Promise Fund has educated, screened, treated, and navigated more than 22,000 women for breast and cervical cancer through 20 patient navigators working in areas of high need. The Promise Fund looks to reach all 80,000 uninsured women in Palm Beach County by 2024.

To learn more about the Promise Fund’s progress to ensure the successful replication of its innovative Continuum of Care service delivery model within Florida and the nation, visit www.PromiseFundOfFlorida.org.

About Promise Fund of Florida

Promise Fund of Florida, founded in 2018, helps women throughout South Florida overcome financial and cultural barriers to improve health equity – including a reduction in deaths from cervical and breast cancers. The nonprofit organization promotes preventive care by focusing on patient-navigation resources, community awareness, policy changes, and innovative partnerships. Together, Promise Fund of Florida and its community partners have supported more than 22,000 women in navigating the complexities of the health care system to improve access to early detection screenings, education, diagnostics, and treatment.

About FoundCare

FoundCare’s mission is to provide quality healthcare and social services for all individuals and families. Currently, FoundCare has seven locations through Palm Beach County spanning from North Palm Beach to Boynton Beach and accepts most insurance plans, Medicaid, Medicare and self-pay on a sliding fee scale based on household size and income. No one is turned away due to inability to pay. Services include pediatric and adult primary care, chronic disease management, behavioral health, dentistry, laboratory services, x-rays, women’s health, screening mammography, and on-site pharmacy. Services are accessible throughout FoundCare locations, with the Palm Springs health center conveniently offering all services in one location. For more information, visit foundcare.org.

Photos by: Van Richardson