The Dynamic Staff of The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer


By Paula Potts, Director of Foundation Relations, October 2012

   Arlington Free Clinic (AFC), an Avon Grantee since 2002, is used to having groups of women come to the Clinic.  But we were recently delighted to welcome different type of group: the dynamic (and adorable) staff of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer - Washington DC office,  led by Operations Manager, Kara Eldridge!  The visit was in follow up to a promise made in May during participant sign-in for the DC Walk.  AFC staff who were volunteering at the event issued the invitation to Kara and her crew to come see the impact of the funds that are raised through the work and effort that go in to the incredibly complex and successful Avon Walks for Breast Cancer.

In late June, when their demanding schedule allowed, the Avon Walk group arrived at AFC bearing a huge box of Avon t-shirts that will be hugely popular with AFC patients in the coming months.  The visit was a wonderful opportunity to share information about the services AFC provides as a BHOP grantee.

The Clinic's Women's Health Program provides comprehensive breast health services  for low income, uninsured women in Arlington County, VA.  With the dedicated support of over 85 volunteers, services are offered at our Clinic during regularly scheduled 3-hour clinic sessions when a team of volunteer physicians, NPs and others provide one-on-one and small group education and clinical breast exams (CBE).  Women ≥ 40 years are referred to community partners for free mammograms. We have systems in place to track these referrals and receive results. Through AFC's long-term community partnerships, women with abnormalities have timely access to a full range of follow up care including biopsies, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.   Last year, we implemented a new, innovative program of community outreach that offers free CBEs and access to free mammography for all low income, uninsured Arlington women.

After a tour of AFC's facility (which is the first free clinic in the nation to earn LEED Gold certification for sustainable design and construction), we headed to a neighborhood restaurant for lunch and storytelling about the experiences that have occurred when working Avon Walks. After meeting these incredibly talented young women, it was clear why the Avon Walks for Breast Cancer are so successful.