December 13, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wachovia gift to fund breast cancer outreach program
Charleston, S.C. - Today, the Wachovia Foundation made a $625,000 gift to the Medical University of South Carolina's Hollings Cancer Center, enabling it to launch an aggressive new campaign to prevent, diagnose, treat and research breast cancer in all women in South Carolina, specifically in the African-American, Hispanic and other disadvantaged populations.
Under the new program, called the Wachovia Breast Cancer Initiative, Hollings Cancer Center will expand its breast cancer clinical services as well as utilize its mobile health unit to provide those same internal services to women in every community in South Carolina, specifically rural, uninsured, high-risk, and economically disadvantaged women throughout the state. The initiative is the only program of its kind in South Carolina.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in South Carolina, with more than 2,680 new cases diagnosed each year. It is the second leading cause of all cancer-related deaths in South Carolina females. Cancer specialists say many of these deaths could be prevented if detected early enough.
"Early detection is key to reducing cancer-related deaths," said David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, head of surgical oncology at Hollings Cancer Center. "Unfortunately, early detection is sometimes difficult to facilitate in remote communities, where women often don't have access to screening and education services. Wachovia's gift will help us overcome that challenge, by enabling us to take these resources to the communities where these women live."
The new outreach program will allow cancer specialists to travel to remote communities throughout South Carolina, offering prevention education, detection, high risk screening, treatment, follow up to prevent reoccurrence and access to clinical trials. One of the goals through the high risk screening is to separate those women who will develop breast cancer based on their genetic profile. Once we identify those women, we can monitor them more closely to detect breast cancer at its earliest impact. Ultimately, the goal is to decrease the disparity of breast cancer mortality in these populations by ensuring that these women have access to care.
Because African-American and other non-white females in South Carolina are more likely to die from breast cancer than white females, the program also will help researchers at Hollings Cancer Center better identify and understand the genetic factors that place African-American and other non-white women at a higher risk for breast cancer than others.
"In the short-term, this program will help reduce the risk of breast cancer-related death among a group of high-risk women. In the long-term, we believe it could conceivably open the door to better treatments and perhaps even a cure," said Cole. "We're deeply grateful to Wachovia for providing us with this valuable opportunity.
Kendall Alley, Wachovia's president for South Carolina said the bank supports the program because of the impact it would have on women through South Carolina.
"Wachovia is committed to supporting the most critical needs of its communities, and this grant to the Hollings Cancer Center allows them to reach out to women across the state," Alley said. "This issue certainly hits home for us as one of our own employees, Shirley Brown who is a teller in Florence, battles breast cancer. Our hearts go out to her and her family."
Wachovia Corporation (NYSE:WB) is one of the largest providers of financial services to retail, brokerage and corporate customers, with retail operations from Connecticut to Florida and west to Texas, and retail brokerage operations nationwide. Its four core businesses, the General Bank, Capital Management, Wealth Management, and the Corporate and Investment Bank, serve approximately 14 million client relationships (including households and businesses), primarily in 15 states and Washington, D.C. Its full-service retail brokerage firm, Wachovia Securities, LLC, serves clients in 49 states and Washington, D.C. Global services are offered through 33 international offices. Online banking and brokerage products and services also are available through wachovia.com.
Wachovia had assets of $436.7 billion, stockholders' equity of $33.9 billion and market capitalization of $61.4 billion at Sept. 30, 2004. SouthTrust had assets of $53.8 billion and stockholders' equity of $4.7 billion at Sept. 30, 2004.
(l-r) Otway Wallace, John Golding, Dr. David Cole, Len Hutchinson, Dr. Andrew Kraft, Kendall Alley, Dr. Ray Greenberg, Stan Gibson and Thomas Clymer at the presentation of Wachovia's $625,000 philanthropic investment in Hollings Cancer Center.
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