Safeway Foundation Gives $2 Million to UCSF for Breast Cancer Support

April 30, 2008
News Office: Vanessa deGier (415) 502-6397

The Safeway Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Safeway Inc., has given the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center $2 million to fund a combination of research initiatives and the debut of a unique, national Web site to match breast cancer patients with clinical trials nationwide.

The clinical trial Web site represents a major advance in the ability of individuals to conveniently find appropriate breast cancer trials. The research initiatives will directly benefit individuals who have or are at risk of developing breast cancer through their support of prevention, early detection, decision support tools and survivorship. UCSF also will provide Safeway employees with a suite of educational products and services relating to breast cancer.

"The Safeway Foundation has shown visionary and exemplary leadership in its commitment to raising awareness and funds for this critical health issue. In addition, they are taking an active role to improve the care of their customers and employees," said Dr. Laura Esserman, professor and director of the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center. "This donation will enable us to accelerate our ability to conduct very important research on breast cancer prevention, treatment and survivorship with the ultimate aim of improving the outcomes for those patients facing a breast cancer diagnosis."

The research and educational initiatives at UCSF supported by the Safeway Foundation have the potential to serve as models for other institutions, with the goals of further revolutionizing breast cancer research and treatment, improving outcomes by providing patients with access to more information and options, and engaging patients more actively in their individual care.

"We are extremely fortunate to have developed this partnership with one of the leading and most innovative breast cancer centers in North America," said Larree Renda, Safeway Inc. Executive Vice President, Chief Strategist and Administrative Officer and Chair of the Safeway Foundation. "It makes perfect sense for the Safeway Foundation and UCSF to unite our resources toward a common vision of improving the options and prognosis for women with breast cancer."

Creating A Healthy Partnership

The gift from the Safeway Foundation will be distributed among three project areas:

The Safeway Foundation gift will be used to help determine better screening and detection procedures for precancerous lesions and to support the creation and testing of an innovative decision support tool. In addition, the gift will accelerate research and support for UCSF's growing survivor population through the implementation and testing of a comprehensive system for managing the health of patients who have survived breast cancer. The program is designed to facilitate the transition from the acute stage of treatment to recovery. A unique aspect of UCSF's program is the surveillance of patient's physical and emotional health via an online health survey.

UCSF's Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center will work with the Safeway Foundation to help the company develop its own breast cancer suite of services designed to provide Safeway employees and their immediate families with relevant, up-to-date information and assistance regarding the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. UCSF will work with the Safeway Foundation to create educational tools such as webinars, podcasts and health-related articles available via the Safeway employee website.

The UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center provides specialized services by experts who are at the forefront of the field of breast health. Whether women are seeking breast health screening, diagnostic procedures or treatment, the center team addresses the unique and often complex needs of the patient, with the goal of tailoring treatment to biology, patient preference and clinical performance.

Recognizing that cancer patients and their families have needs beyond the scope of clinical care, the Center also offers support groups, a healing garden, an active Art-for-Recovery Program and a Cancer Resource Center. Women also have access to clinical trials that are evaluating both traditional and alternative approaches to the treatment of breast cancer.

The UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center was designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute in 1999 in recognition of the highest level of excellence in both its scientific research and its ability to integrate diverse research approaches to focus on the problem of cancer and improve patient outcomes. The center ranks first in California and sixth nationwide in National Cancer Institute research grants and is home to pioneers in research into genetic, cellular and immune system causes and responses to cancer.

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