Eliminating Disparities for Black Women Living with Breast Cancer

The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators Partners with Tigerlily Foundation on #InclusionPledge

May 2023 Vol 14, No 5 —May 17, 2023


Health Disparities

The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) is proud to announce their partnership with Tigerlily Foundation (Tigerlily) on Tigerlily’s #InclusionPledge.

The #InclusionPledge is an unprecedented global, multistakeholder initiative focused on diversity, inclusion, and elimination of disparities for Black women living with breast cancer.

The Tigerlily Vision

As an organization dedicated to ending disparities in our lifetime, Tigerlily recognizes that recent world events highlight the systemic racism that runs deep and affects every aspect of the lives of the Black population. This is especially true for breast cancer care in Black women. In fact, Black women:

  • are often diagnosed at younger ages and have more aggressive breast cancer
  • are often diagnosed at later stages and can often have a poorer prognosis
  • face a 20% to 40% higher mortality rate of cancer compared with overall rates of breast cancer in Black and White women, which are about the same
  • have a 39% recurrence rate and a 52% higher relative risk of death

Maimah Karmo

“These are statistics that I am tired of repeating year after year—with little to no change,” says Maimah Karmo, President, Tigerlily Foundation. “While there has been a heightened focus on ending health disparities, there still exists significant barriers to equity. There are significant opportunities to strengthen engagement among the Black community, healthcare providers, and medical organizations, and to improve health and health outcomes. To bring about lasting change, we have partnered with our colleagues and friends to launch the #InclusionPledge to advocate for the inclusion of women of color across initiatives impacting their breast cancer and overall health. Nurses are at the front line—touching people and those who become patients at every step of their life and health journey. With such a critical role in patients’ health, we at Tigerlily are excited to partner with organizations like AONN+ to work toward equitable outcomes for Black women.”

The AONN+ Commitment

AONN+ is proud to work with Tigerlily Foundation and the Black community to improve patient care and quality of life. AONN+ is committed to supporting the professional workforce that has historically served patients with cancer in greatest need. This includes patients of color, who have long dealt with systemic and institutional injustices and racial inequities. These impacts have been well documented in our health and cancer care systems and were the catalyst to create the profession of navigation.

Monica Dean, HON-OPN-CG

“Navigators work to make our healthcare system a more just and equitable place as they help patients identify personal strengths to empower their preference and priorities,” says Monica Dean, HON-OPN-CG, Director, Patient Navigation Program Development. “They bear witness to the extraordinary challenges facing all patients with cancer. A core competency of patient navigation is to demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to a diverse patient population, including, but not limited to, diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, age, culture, religion, abilities, and sexual orientation. With this basic value, all navigators work to expose health inequities and find solutions to patient needs and barriers to ensure that all people have the opportunity to live healthy, fulfilling lives.”

A Call to Action

AONN+ implores all navigators to recommit in this moment to their personal and professional obligations to advance racial and health equity. AONN+ commits to collaborating with Tigerlily to further integrate health equity solutions into its content, programs, and organizational and navigation resources, with a specific focus on Black women.

AONN+ recognizes that the need for this work has never been more profound and commits to empowering our members and the patients they serve with the knowledge and tools necessary to effect lasting and impactful change.

About the #InclusionPledge

The #InclusionPledge provides a transparent and tangible framework across multiple healthcare sectors to identify and track equitable actions that will result in measurable and improved outcomes for women of color facing a breast cancer diagnosis.

Black women face a 20% to 40% higher mortality rate of cancer compared with overall rates of breast cancer in Black and White women, which are about the same.

Tigerlily invites organizations around the world to join AONN+ and many others in showing their support by signing the #InclusionPledge. Visit Tigerlily Foundation at www.tigerlilyfoundation.org to learn how you can make a difference.

Be part of social justice by taking the #InclusionPledge and work with us to end disparities for Black women. To learn more, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click below for the official press release

Tigerlily Foundation and the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) Partner on #InclusionPledge to Eliminate Disparities for Black Women Living with Breast Cancer

Related Articles
Addressing Health Disparities in Rural Communities
March 2021 Vol 12, No 3
Welcome to Perry County, Alabama, where Frances Ford, RN has been making a difference for 20 years.
Systematic Assessment of Cancer Patient Navigation in Appalachia
Eugene J. Lengerich, VMD, MS, Betsy Aumiller, MEd, DEd, Brenda C. Kluhsman, PhD, MSS, Marcyann Bencivenga, BA, Christopher Louis, MHA, PhD(c), Linda Fleisher, PhD, MPH, E. D. Paskett, PhD, MSHP, Mark B. Dignan, PhD, MPH
June 2013 Vol 4, No 3
Encompassing 420 counties in 13 states from southern New York to northern Mississippi, Appalachia is largely rural with a population characterized by a high poverty rate, a low educational level, a high rate of uninsurance or underinsurance, and limited access to healthcare. All pose substantial barriers to cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment and are associated with increased cancer mortality.
Navigation Needs for Breast Health and Breast Cancer Populations in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG
February 2013 Vol 4, No 1
Breast cancer remains the most feared disease by all women, unrelated to their race, ethnicity, or age.
Last modified: August 10, 2023

Subscribe Today!

To sign up for our print publication or e-newsletter, please enter your contact information below.

I'd like to receive:

  • First Name *
    Last Name *
    Profession or Role
    Primary Specialty or Disease State