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Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois health care

As Breast Cancer among African-American Illinois Women Surges 77%, Gov. Pat Quinn Launches New Access, Treatment Initiative


(Chicago, IL) — October 18, 2010. As breast cancer among African-American Illinois women has surged 77% since 1986, Governor Pat Quinn today announced a new advisory panel and a Medicaid reimbursement rate increase for screening to help fight breast cancer among Illinois women, focusing on access to mammograms and treatment.

Quinn’s new Breast Cancer Quality Screening and Treatment Board will aim to identify gaps in screening and diagnostic mammogram services throughout the state; expand the use of digital mammography; recommend common quality standards; identify best practices for effective outreach to reduce racial disparities; and monitor the pilot projects.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure more women have access to lifesaving screenings and treatments,” said Quinn. “The Breast Cancer Quality Screening and Treatment Board consists of highly-qualified medical experts and health care advocates who will work hard to fight this disease.”

According to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, there were 652 cases of invasive breast cancer among African-American females in 1986 and 1,159 in 2006, a 77.7% increase. And the rate of breast cancer among African-American women increased from 98.4 for every 100,000 persons to 122.9 in 2006, or a 24.8% increase.

In contrast, there were 5,942 cases of invasive breast for white women in 1986 and 7,310 in 2006, or a 23.0% increase. The rate among white women jumped from 117.6 to 126.4, or 7.4%.

The new initiative, a joint project between the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and the Illinois Department of Public Health, will include an increase in the Medicaid reimbursement rate beginning in 2011 for screening providers who commit to high-quality service and data sharing on detection rates with the Chicago Breast Cancer Quality Consortium.

“I am very glad to be working with Governor Quinn, our partners at IDPH and our board of experts to improve access to-and the quality of-breast cancer screening and treatment for women throughout our state,” said HFS Director Julie Hamos.

Medicaid spending for the program will qualify for federal matching funds.

The members of the newly formed Breast Cancer Quality Screening and Treatment Board include:

  • Dr. David Ansell, Vice President for Clinical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for Rush University Medical Center and Associate Provost for Medical Affairs, Rush University.
  • Dr. Bechara Choucair, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health
  • Sister Sheila Lyne, CEO and President, Mercy Hospital
  • Eileen Knightly, Director, Mercy Hospital Breast Care Center
  • Anne Marie Murphy, Executive Director, Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force
  • Dr. Pamela Ganschow, Director, John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County Breast & Cervical Cancer Screening Program
  • Dr. Elizabeth Marcus, Chair, John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County Division of Breast Oncology
  • Stephani Huston Cox, Director of Patient Services, Planned Parenthood Springfield Area
  • Linda Maricle, Executive Director, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Peoria
  • Donna Thompson, Chief Executive Officer, Access Community Health Network
  • Elizabeth S.A. Patton, Administrator, East Side Health District
  • Salim Al Nurridin, Chief Executive Officer, Healthcare Consortium of Illinois
  • Vicki Vaughn, Director, St. Mary’s Hospital

“Early detection can help save lives, and mammography remains the most effective means available to detect cancer in its earliest stages,” said IDPH Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and Huffington Post blogger, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.

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