Tigerlily Foundation Partners with Pfizer on #InclusionPledge to Eliminate Disparities for Black Women Living with Breast Cancer

Tigerlily Foundation announced today that Pfizer, Inc. has joined the #InclusionPledge – an unprecedented initiative focused on diversity, inclusion, and eliminating disparities for Black women living with breast cancer. The #InclusionPledge provides a transparent and tangible framework across multiple healthcare sectors to identify and track equitable actions that will result in measurable and improved outcomes for women of color facing a breast cancer diagnosis.

Tigerlily Foundation Partners with Pfizer on #InclusionPledge to Eliminate Disparities for Black Women Living with Breast Cancer
Stone Ridge, VA, September 16, 2020 --(PR.com)-- As an organization dedicated to ending disparities in our lifetime, Tigerlily Foundation recognizes that recent world events highlight the systemic racism that runs deep and affects every aspect of the lives of the Black population. This is especially true for breast cancer care in Black women. In fact,

- Black women are often diagnosed at younger ages and have more aggressive breast cancer[1]
- Black women are often diagnosed at later stages and can often have a poorer prognosis[2]
- Black women face a 20 % to 40% higher mortality rate compared to overall rates of breast cancer in Black and white women are about the same[3]
- Black women have a 39% recurrence rate and a 52 % higher relative risk of death [4]

“Race, literacy, financial barriers, access, social, systemic and hereditary backgrounds should not be determinants of life and health equity. There are significant opportunities to strengthen engagement among the Black community, healthcare providers and medical organizations, toward improving health and health outcomes. In order to bring about change, we have banded together with our colleagues and friends to launch the #InclusionPledge to advocate for the inclusion of women of color across initiatives impacting their breast cancer and overall health. We are excited to partner with organizations, like Pfizer, to work to transform systems globally – with one vision – to champion black breast cancer as a social justice issue and ensure eradication of barriers that lead to loss of life for Black women.” – Maimah Karmo, President, Tigerlily Foundation

As a leading global pharmaceutical company, Pfizer is committed to working with Tigerlily Foundation and the Black community to help eliminate these health disparities in black women.

“Equity is one of Pfizer’s core values and we take the #InclusionPledge wholeheartedly. We are proud to partner with leaders in the community, including Tigerlily, to help tackle the barriers standing in the way of optimal care for women of color living with breast cancer. From medical grants aimed at actively reducing the disparities in care, to resources for patients and healthcare professionals to navigate their unique cancer journeys and treatment decisions, we have made it our priority to be inclusive, act with integrity and ensure every person is seen, heard and cared for. As a breast cancer survivor myself, I know first-hand the challenges and risks a Black woman faces when confronting this disease. It’s these personal experiences and core values at Pfizer that fuel our commitment to making a real impact on the health outcomes of women of color.” – Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D., Chief Patient Officer, Pfizer, Inc.

Tigerlily invites organizations around the world to join Pfizer and many others in showing their support by signing the #InclusionPledge. Visit Tigerlily Foundation’s website to learn how you can collaborate with us to make a difference.

About the #InclusionPledge
At the 2019 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, several advocates made an #InclusionPledge. The inclusion pledge originated with Julia Maues and Christine Hodgdon, Co-Founders of GRASP. After Angela "Jersi" Baker, (an African American metastatic breast cancer advocate) asked why there wasn’t representation of a black woman on a panel, Julia and Christine felt that as "white women living with metastatic breast cancer, [we] engage in advocacy to allow people with cancer to live longer and better lives. In this role, we get our voices heard by writing articles, speaking on panels, participating in advisory boards or reviewing grants. We have always seen ourselves as allies to people of color and thought it was unacceptable that certain population groups experience disparities in cancer outcomes. We decided that 'not being ok' with something this terrible wasn’t enough! We had to act."

Julia, Christine and Maimah brainstormed and the #InclusionPledge was created shortly after. Other founding members of the pledge include Sheila McGlown, Tomika Bryant, LaTonya Davis, Dana Donofree, Ricki Fairley, Valencia Robinson, Jamil Rivers and Tiah Tomlin.

About Tigerlily Foundation
Tigerlily Foundation is a national breast cancer organization whose mission is to educate, empower, support, and advocate for young women ages 15 to 45 before, during, and after breast cancer. Tigerlily Foundation is dedicated to ending disparities of age, stage. To learn more, visit http://tigerlilyfoundation.org, follow on Twitter @TigerlilyCares, on Instagram at Tigerlily_Foundation and on Facebook at TigerlilyFoundation. Email inclusionpledge@tigerlilyfoundation.org to learn how you and your organization can be a part of social justice by taking the #inclusionpledge and work with us to end disparities for black women.

[1] Richardson LC, Henley J, Miller J, Massetti G, Thomas CC. Patterns and trends in black-white differences in breast cancer incidence and mortality - United States, 1999–2013. MMWR 2016;65(40):1093–1098.

[2] ACS, American Cancer Society (2016) Breast cancer facts & figures, 2015–2016. 2016. American Cancer Society, Atlanta

[3] Breast Cancer Screening in Women at Higher-Than-Average Risk: Recommendations From the ACR. Monticciolo, Debra L. et al. Journal of the American College of Radiology, Volume 15, Issue 3, 408 - 414

[4] Black Women Have Higher Risk of Recurrence Than Other Ethnicities, Oncology Times: January 5, 2019 - Volume 41 - Issue 1 - p 24 doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000552839.22529.72
Tigerlily Foundation
Mamah Karmo