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Susan G. Komen to consolidate operations at its four Upstate affiliates

Four Upstate affiliates of the Susan G. Komen organization have “restructured and centralized” their operations, creating Susan G. Komen Upstate New York. 

The organization is waiting for final approval on the consolidation from the office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The organization expects legal approval “within the next several weeks,” it said in a news release issued Jan. 26.


Susan G. Komen says it is the “world’s largest” breast-cancer organization. 

Kate Flannery, who has worked for the Central New York affiliate for more than a decade, will help lead the merged organization.

The primary changes are the “centralization” of back-office functions such as finance, operations. and grants administration.

The goal of this “collaboration is to enable greater cost savings while maximizing grants” to local health organizations and programs to help more people “detect breast cancer early and beat it,” the Susan G. Komen organization said.

All four offices will remain open and each local Race for the Cure will continue, in Syracuse, Elmira, Albany, and Buffalo.

The organization will continue to offer breast health and breast-cancer screening, support, and survivorship programs in the 49 counties that they independently served as Komen Central New York, Komen Northeastern New York, Komen Twin Tiers, and Komen Western New York, per the release.

The 49 counties in the service area include most of upstate New York, as well as three counties in Pennsylvania. 

All four affiliates’ boards of directors have approved the consolidation and the four offices have already begun working together.

Upstate employment

The only job cut in the reorganization was a person working as an administrative assistant for eight hours per week, Elizabeth Kahn, executive director of Susan G. Komen Western New York, said in an email response to a BJNN inquiry.

Kahn and Central New York’s Flannery will serve as co-executive directors of the merged organization.

The Komen organization currently employs seven people in its four Upstate affiliates, two of whom work in a part-time capacity. It plans to fill a position in its Albany office, which will bring the employment count to eight.

The Central New York office has two full-time employees, and the Elmira location has a full-time and a part-time employee, Kahn said. The director of the Elmira office is staying with the organization as a fund-development specialist.

The Central New York office operates at 5008 Brittonfield Parkway in DeWitt, according to the Komen website. It only lists a post-office box for the Elmira affiliate, which is known as the Twin Tiers region affiliate.

The executive director in Albany resigned as of Jan. 1, according to Kahn, and Komen is working to hire a full-time person for that office to focus on community outreach and fund development.

Deciding to consolidate

The decision to consolidate came down to “common sense and what was best to carry out the Komen mission,” James Kincaid, president of the board of directors at Komen Western New York, said in the release.

The organization’s mission is “to save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.” 

“We all came to this decision by putting our mission and the people in our communities first,” said Kincaid. “We think we can help more people this way, while maintaining a sense of autonomy in the individual regions and keeping the local, grassroots approach that has made Komen so successful.”

Komen’s community-grants programs will continue in all regions of the state, as will survivor-support programs and other resources currently offered to residents in the communities now served by the four offices.

Komen Upstate New York will continue to donate 25 percent of all net proceeds to Komen’s National Research Grants program, which supports research focused on the prevention of, and cures for, breast cancer.

About Komen

The Susan G. Komen organization was founded in 1982 by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, “that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life,” according to the release.

Through events like the Race for the Cure, Komen has invested a total of more than $13 million in community breast-health programs covering the 49-county Upstate New York region, and has “helped contribute” to the more than $920 million invested globally in research, the organization said.

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