KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Komen Facing Fundraising Challenges, Resignations Of Executives

News outlets have been covering developments in the lingering controversy surrounding the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization.

Reuters: Breast Cancer Fundraising Lags After Abortion Dispute
U.S. breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure is feeling a pinch on donations following a controversy over its funding for Planned Parenthood, a leading provider of birth-control and abortion services. A few of the group's flagship "Race for the Cure" fundraising events have failed to meet targets, a Komen spokeswoman said on Friday. ... Komen said it had had problems meeting targets in about half of the five fundraising events it has staged since the blowup. ... Komen has said that in 2011 it screened 700,000 uninsured women for breast cancer, and it spends 83 cents of every donation dollar on research or community services (Morgan and Yukhananov, 3/24).

The Associated Press: Several Executives Leave Komen After Controversy 
At least five high-ranking executives with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer charity have resigned in the aftermath of the organization's decision to eliminate its funding for Planned Parenthood. The departures include three officials from Komen's Dallas headquarters, as well as CEOs of affiliate groups in Oregon and New York City. ... Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun said she could not speak to individuals' reasons for leaving but acknowledged the effects of the controversy among supporters. "Obviously, we know some folks are upset. We've certainly seen that," Aun said. "We know people have been upset by recent events, but most really do recognize the importance of our work" (Stengle, 3/23).

The Washington Post: Komen Board Chair Steps Down, Citing Howard University Duties
A prominent Howard University surgeon who chairs the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation is stepping down from the post but remaining on the breast cancer charity’s board, Komen officials said Thursday. LaSalle D. Leffall Jr., 81, made the decision because of his duties as provost of Howard University, a Komen spokeswoman said. Leffall declined to comment. A person familiar with the board’s deliberations said Howard University wanted Leffall to distance himself from the Komen board (Sun and Kliff, 3/22).

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