Komen affiliate speaks out about funding crisis

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on February 6, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 7 at 11:05 AM

NEWS 8 EXCLUSIVE

FORT WORTH — Susan G. Komen for the Cure reversed its decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, but the fallout continues.

A noon protest is planned outside the Komen headquarters in Dallas on Tuesday.

The phones are finally silent at the Komen office in Fort Worth. Since the national office announced and then rescinded its controversial decision to de-fund breast screenings at Planned Parenthood, workers on the local level have been dealing with a public relations nightmare.

"I guess 'hard' is the right word," said Ann Greenhill, executive director of the Komen Greater Fort Worth affiliate. "Certainly emotional and hectic."

Komen executives have kept quiet, refusing to comment about last week's controversy. Greenhill spoke exclusively to News 8 Monday afternoon, reassuring supporters that the mission of Susan G. Komen for the Cure remains strong.

Greenhill told News 8 that the Greater Fort Worth Chapter hasn't given Planned Parenthood grant money since 2004, partly because Planned Parenthood doesn't do mammograms in its local clinics.

Planned Parenthood may facilitate a mammogram appointment, but the scan is given by another service provider.

"We were able to get a lower price for mammograms by going directly to the service provider, and then the Planned Parenthood patients would be taken care of by this local service provider," Greenhill explained, saying the grant criteria let the local chapter get more for its money.

Catholic Pro-Life Charities has been denied funding by the Greater Fort Worth office for the same reason.

Komen Greater Fort Worth does give a grant to The St. Joseph Health Care Trust, a program of Catholic Charities.  That grant is specifically for education, not mammogram services.

Komen's Greater Fort Worth chapter distributed $900,000 this past year — that's more than Planned Parenthood got from Komen nationally.

Greenhill said she wouldn't be surprised if more local affiliates adopt the same grant criteria.

"In fact," she said, "I've suggested at executive director meetings that this is such a great way to help more women."

A video statement Komen founder Nancy Brinker recorded before her charity rescinded the Planned Parenthood decision reflected an interest in adopting the Greater Fort Worth affiliate's philosophy, which would eventually cut Planned Parenthood from Komen grants on a national level.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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