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Topic: "Calls Grow for Leader of Komen to Step Down" - NYT

Forum: Advocacy — Join here to discuss issues where we can have a voice!

Posted on: Mar 26, 2012 07:25AM

1Athena1 wrote:

Apologies if this has already been shared. It is a few days old.

Excerpts:

Calls for the resignation of Nancy G. Brinker, the founder and chief executive of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the breast cancer charity, grew Wednesday amid news that a second high-profile executive was leaving the group.

On Tuesday, Dr. Dara P. Richardson-Heron, the chief executive of Komen's Greater New York City affiliate, said she had made a "personal decision" to resign effective April 27.

Katrina McGhee, the executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Komen's national organization, said late last month that she planned to resign in May, also for personal reasons. Ms. McGhee oversees more than 200 corporate partnerships, 140 race events and more than $350 million in annual revenue at Komen. Leslie Aun, a Komen spokeswoman, said Ms. McGhee planned to consult for the group.

The resignations come after a national outcry over Komen's decision earlier this year to eliminate most of its financing for breast cancer education and screening to Planned Parenthood, which runs women's health clinics that also provide birth control and perform abortions. At the time, the national Komen organization said it had decided not to finance grant applications from organizations under government investigation. Although Planned Parenthood was not the subject of an investigation, a Republican congressman, Cliff Stearns of Florida, was looking into whether the group had spent public money on abortions.

FULL ARTICLE:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/us/calls-grow-for-leader-of-susan-g-komen-for-the-cure-to-resign.html?ref=health

Anyone diagnosed with cancer should learn to have a healthy disrespect for statistics. Statistics are maths. It's the science which still eludes us. Dx 3/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/8 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 26, 2012 09:49AM crazy4carrots wrote:

From the article:

“You hate to see the organization slowly bleed away its staffing and its talent,” said Daniel Borochoff, the president of CharityWatch, a nonprofit organization that rates charities. Although Komen remains a leader in breast cancer fund-raising, he said, “they may very well need to get a new board and a new chief executive.”

I said this from the beginning.  I do believe it's the only way faith in the organization can be renewed, along with a much greater emphasis on research and metastatic BC.

Although celebrities may feel there's no such thing as bad publicity, it can often be fatal for a charitable organization. 

The demagogue preaches doctrine he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots. Dx 1/10/2008, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 26, 2012 09:51AM Wabbit wrote:

There are obviously lots of problems in Komen.  Not sure that Brinker stepping down would really change anything though ... would probably just be for public relations purposes anyway. 

IMO they really need to change their main focus away from 'pink awareness' to remain relevant today.  I think that was necessary once upon a time but we are all 'aware' and talking about breast cancer already.  It's time for whoever is able to take the next steps toward more research and searching for a cure to take over. 

Dx 3/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 26, 2012 10:27AM kayfh wrote:

Time for Komen to wrap it up and stop diverting money which could have gone to research into the support of an unwieldy politicized bureaucracy. Kay

Kay Dx 3/3/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 8/8 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 4/26/2009 Mastectomy: Left
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Mar 26, 2012 10:29AM Wabbit wrote:

That is my main problem with them too kayfh ... they are sucking up money that could be much better used.

Dx 3/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 26, 2012 12:32PM Faye33 wrote:

I think it is sad what is happening with Komen now.  IMO, PP played a big part in Komen slowly dieing like it appears to be doing now.  PP could have chosen to accept the new funding policy change and move on, instead of turning it into a public point of fingers and tattle tale session.  $600,000 - $700,000 in lost funding should not have changed the services provided to women for breast screenings at PP, and if it did, PP was the only one to blame.  If PP truly believed in the services they provided they would have come up with the funding elsewhere, while leaving Komen's name out of it.

I also take issue with the fact that the article stated PP was/is not under government investigation.  

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/feb/01/news/la-heb-komen-planned-parenthood-congressional-investigation-20120201

According to the article I linked, the investigation did happen and is ongoing.  How can someone say that PP isn't under investigation?  How is what is going on not an investigation?

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Mar 26, 2012 12:48PM Wabbit wrote:

IMO a political witch-hunt started by a congresscritter who hates your organization is more harassment and an abuse of his congressional powers than a real investigation.  YMMV

However, that is really beside the point.   Planned Parenthood is not responsible for Komen's problems.  The fiasco that involved them brought a lot of stuff to light about how much they paid their executives and how little of their funds really went to research, etc.  That and the lies they were caught telling is what has damaged their reputation. 
Dx 3/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 26, 2012 01:43PM Faye33 wrote:

You certainly are entitled to your opinion.  However, I just don't see how someone can say that a congressional investigation is not a government investigation, meerly on the merit you don't believe with why the investigation is being done.  You are entitled to say the investigation is unfounded if you feel that way, however you can't say the investigation does not exist, simply because you don't agree with it.  If the investigation is truly unfounded, the investigation will prove PP is not guilty of anything in the end.

Stearns is a Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, whose job it is to insure tax money is being used as intended.  PP gets hundreds of millions of tax dollars every year.  It is only fiscally responsible to investigate any reports of misuse of this money.  Stearns is doing his job. 

PP is not souly to blame for Komen's decline, Komen made their own bed, and now they are lying in it.  However, I don't agree with how immaturely PP dealt with the fact that they didn't meet the qualifications to apply for grant through Komen.  PP tattling has only harmed Komen further, thus hurting part of the cause for breast cancer research.  I'm not OK with that! 

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Mar 26, 2012 02:52PM RetiredLibby wrote:

"Tattling" is quite a loaded, childish word, isn't it?  PP told their supporters that they were losing a funding source and asked for donations to make that up.  Isn't that what nonprofits do?  Just because you don't like PP or agree with what they do doesn't mean they aren't entitled to ask for donations.  Komen has hurt itself, and the staffers who have resigned from Komen have done so because they disagree with the direction the organization has taken.  PP had nothing to do with Komen's decisions to go political.

And Congressional investigations are not investigations with the force of law.  They cannot result in indictments, trials or convictions. Their results are not enforceable in a court of law. They are often "fishing" expeditions for political purposes.  And Stearns himself is reportedly under FBI investigation (a real law enforcement investigation) for attempted bribery. 

http://www.gainesville.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012120319765

1st dx 07/2007, DCIS Gr. 3, Stage 0, 1 cm; lumpectomy, reexcision, rads, tamox. 2nd dx 6/24/2011, DCIS 1.5 cm, Gr. 3, Stage 0; BMX w/ immed. DIEP 8/23/2011.
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Mar 26, 2012 03:08PM RetiredLibby wrote:

Further on exactly what Congressional investigations are, from the Oxford Companion to the U.S. Supreme Court:

http://www.answers.com/topic/congressional-power-of-investigation

And let us not forget some of the most notorious Congressional investigations: "During the cold war of the 1940s and 1950s, congressional investigations stirred up a "Red scare" by looking for communists in the government. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) made news when Whittaker Chambers testified that former State Department official Alger Hiss had secretly been a communist and alleged that Hiss had engaged in espionage. Later, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (Republican-Wisconsin) used his chairmanship of the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to pursue allegations that communists were operating in the military and other government agencies. Critics charged HUAC and Senator McCarthy with "witch hunting" and accused congressional investigators of bullying witnesses and ignoring their civil rights and liberties." From: http://www.answers.com/topic/congressional-investigations#ixzz1qFeEkI5p

1st dx 07/2007, DCIS Gr. 3, Stage 0, 1 cm; lumpectomy, reexcision, rads, tamox. 2nd dx 6/24/2011, DCIS 1.5 cm, Gr. 3, Stage 0; BMX w/ immed. DIEP 8/23/2011.
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Mar 26, 2012 03:17PM kayfh wrote:

Please Faye 33, we've heard you.  You have responded to any post about Komen as if it were about Planned Parenthood.  It is not.  It is about Komen and their out of touch bureaucracy.  Kay

Kay Dx 3/3/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 8/8 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 4/26/2009 Mastectomy: Left
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Mar 26, 2012 04:05PM Faye33 wrote:

HappyLibby, even if an congressional investigation does not directly lead to the force of law, I would imagine if PP was found guilt of misusing taxpayer dollars, action could be taken, be it better checking procedures or withdrawal of funds.  My issue is with the fact the OP was an article which clearly stated PP was not being investigated, when in fact PP is being investigated.  One can argue the foundation of the investigation but not the existence of it. 

Kay, the OP used an article which addressed the PP/Komen issue.  I am entitled to comment on that. 

 I find it interesting that Komen officials are now resigning.  If this truly was about Komen's change in policy and direction, why didn't they resign back in December when Komen started implementing their new policy, or even sooner when they wrote the policy up, or even sooner when Komen started becoming more about money then the cure?  It would appear they all stood behind the policy(ies) until it became unpopular.  I also find it interesting that McGhee is resigning, but will continue to consult for Komen.  This makes it appear that the wound the PP/Komen issue administered to Komen earlier this year was lethal and people are getting out so they don't go down with the ship.  Just my thoughts on the issue. 

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Mar 26, 2012 07:08PM RetiredLibby wrote:

Your imagination will not make PP be "found guilty" of misusing taxpayer dollars. The "investigation" has no force of law. Law enforcement is the Constitutional province of the judiciary and the executive branches of government. PP is audited every year by HHS. If the audits turned up anything, the cases would be referred to Federal law enforcement authorities. A Congressional "investigation" can call itself whatever it wants, it is NOT legally actionable, no matter how much you may want it to be or insist. I can bring together a committee of my neighbors to look into the crappy mail delivery in our neighborhood, but it is not an investigation, no matter how many flyers I might print out.

And if you want to know why Komen officials didn't resign earlier, why don't you ask them instead if impugning their motives? Are they not allowed to resign at will, or must they clear it with you? Perhaps they decided that Komen no longer represented their values. Perhaps they had families to support and waited to find other jobs. Are they allowed to do that? Or perhaps they waited to see what Komen management would do to handle this, and decided that they didn't like it and left. So what? Are their motives less "pure?" Who cares? Komen no longer has the confidence of many of its top leaders and they no longer want to work there.

1st dx 07/2007, DCIS Gr. 3, Stage 0, 1 cm; lumpectomy, reexcision, rads, tamox. 2nd dx 6/24/2011, DCIS 1.5 cm, Gr. 3, Stage 0; BMX w/ immed. DIEP 8/23/2011.
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Mar 26, 2012 11:20PM - edited Mar 27, 2012 02:21PM by Pompeed

The idea that what a congressional representative does when making inquiries would somehow end up with a judicial finding or guilt or innocense is all one needs to read to know that, with the greatest respect, what the writer of the comment does not know or understand about the separation of governmental powers will fill a fat book.

              What's the intention?  Same as before: find any possible means or method to impugn PP. Over and over and over again.  In every possible thread.  In the background too.  Regardless of the fact that the subject matter of this thread is news of ongoing resignations and repositioning of executives at Komen.  None of that news of events at Komen is occurring because of anything PP did or didn't do to Komen.  It is all happening because of what Komen did to PP. 

              Komen harmed the cause of research for breast cancer without any help from anyone else.  Repeated attempts to tag PP at every opportunity, as somehow an insider at Komen and responsible for making the decisions which turned out to hurt Komen, is nonsense.  Should be debunked as nonsense as often as the nonsense is offered.

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Mar 27, 2012 07:10PM 1Athena1 wrote:

Agreed, Pompeed.

Great posts, HL!

Anyone diagnosed with cancer should learn to have a healthy disrespect for statistics. Statistics are maths. It's the science which still eludes us. Dx 3/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/8 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 27, 2012 07:13PM pupmom wrote:

HappyLibby, well said! Do I hear crickets?

Life is what happens while we're making other plans. Dx 10/18/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 27, 2012 08:05PM Bren-2007 wrote:

Pompeed and Happy ... I'm looking for the "like" button!

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Mar 27, 2012 10:17PM Faye33 wrote:

Clearly, my views and thoughts on the OP are not welcome here.  I don't expect to be agreed with, however I would expect any disagreement to happen respectfully.  Intended or not, comments are coming across as rude and condescending, and I get the clear impression one needs to step in line with popular opinion or simply not post.  I'm not the "step in line" or the "simply not post" type of person, so I'm beginning to believe I don't belong on this board at all.

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Mar 28, 2012 10:11AM Bren-2007 wrote:

Faye .. I don't think anyone intends for you to be a "step in line" type of person.  Kudos to you for speaking your mind.  I just don't happen to agree with you about Planned Parenthood and Komen.  Komen brought this mess on themselves .. PP had nothing to do with it.

Nancy Brinker, in my opinion, needs to wise up and steer her organization in another direction.

Bren

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Mar 28, 2012 11:23AM Charles_Pelkey wrote:

Amen, BinVA.
I certainly respect Faye's right to express her views, but I don't happen to agree with her, either. My experience with both organizations leads me to conclude that whatever money I was going to give to Komen will go to Planned Parenthood or others who provide no- or low-cost medical services to people.

My wife and I went to planned parenthood when we first started getting serious about our relationship. They provided terrific family planning advice and readily accessible medical services for my wife at a time when we didn't have insurance. We did a great job planning our family, by the way, and have two awesome kids and we never had to deal with the issue of unwanted pregnancies. We've donated to them for years. 

Conversely, we have given money to Komen before we ever needed to rely on their services ... and pretty much all I got from them when I did actually encounter breast cancer first hand was a bunch of pink crap that made me feel like I was supposed to be a Mary Kay lady or something. Komen was pretty much useless through this ordeal. We'll just give to Planned Parenthood from here on out. 

Charles F. Pelkey Dx 7/27/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/4/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Surgery 8/10/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 9/8/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2012
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Mar 28, 2012 11:32AM kayfh wrote:

Agreed.  The intent of my comment was not to belittle or shut Faye down.  Just to point out that it was Komen we were discussing.  Kay

  

Kay Dx 3/3/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 8/8 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 4/26/2009 Mastectomy: Left
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Mar 28, 2012 02:52PM - edited Mar 28, 2012 02:53PM by IllinoisNative

The congressional investigation was just a smoke screen and is irrelevant to the discussion, IMO.  Komen made that rule specifically to get rid of PP.  They didn't drop any other contributor under investigation only PP.  So what does it matter if PP was under investigation?  It doesn't.  

Komen is in trouble because they made breast cancer political.  That was suicide.  And they have NO ONE else to blame but themselves.  It's bad enough they give less to breast cancer research than practically any other breast cancer charity out there.  And considering how big they are, that's a damn shame.  That speaks volumes on what kind of organization they are...and I know a lot of us had issues with Komen before anything happened with PP.

BRCA 2 Positive Dx 11/27/2010, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 28, 2012 03:23PM - edited Mar 28, 2012 07:46PM by leggo

This Post was deleted by leggo.
"Once more into the fray... Into the last good fight I'll ever know... Live and die on this day... Live and die on this day." - The Grey
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Mar 28, 2012 06:01PM crazy4carrots wrote:

Having Brinker and her Board stay on reminds me of that saying "Definition of stupidity/futility is doing the same thing again and again and hoping for different results".

Too many folks have lost confidence in the Komen organization, and having the same people in charge, making the major decisions, isn't going to bring that confidence back.  Charitable organizations depend so desperately on potential and longstanding donors having confidence in them.  I don't think Komen is "too big to fail", but of course that's just my opinion!

The demagogue preaches doctrine he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots. Dx 1/10/2008, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 30, 2012 02:48PM Pompeed wrote:

            Congress isn't the government.  Congress is the federal leglislative body.  Can never be the government.

            The current administration -- regardless of who is in office -- is the goverment.  Example: the US government is presently headed by Mr. Obama as president of the US and the head quarters of the US government is the White House.

             Therefore: no Congressional inquiry, however deep or detailed one may be or for whatever purpose such an inquiry is initiated or hearings on a particular question are held in either chamber, is not now nor ever can be a "government investigation."  

             Furthermore, oversight of governmental affairs and governmental operations is not an obligation or a duty or a responsibility exclusively assigned to Congressional function or authority. 

    Nothing subjective, rude, ill intentioned, personal, condescending or toe-the-line-or-else involved.  Just facts.

             

             

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Mar 30, 2012 05:26PM - edited Aug 10, 2012 05:42PM by del4

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Mar 30, 2012 08:29PM 1Athena1 wrote:

Wow....that's a powerful admission. Not sure it presages some true change in Komen, though.

Anyone diagnosed with cancer should learn to have a healthy disrespect for statistics. Statistics are maths. It's the science which still eludes us. Dx 3/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/8 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 30, 2012 11:19PM crazy4carrots wrote:

Sunflowers:  If I were still actively involved in fundraising, and living in the U.S., I'm fairly sure that I could find 7 wealthy people on just one Manhattan avenue to pony up $10M each for breast cancer research every year.  AND, guarantee that every last penny of that $70M would be directed to promising breast cancer research.

It's disgusting to me that a charitable organization as ubiquitous as Komen (and one which calls itself "for the cure") ONLY provides $70M for actual research.  And, with Brinker's circle and contacts, she could find those $10M donors herself!

The demagogue preaches doctrine he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots. Dx 1/10/2008, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 31, 2012 10:33AM Pompeed wrote:

             Now if we had a single payer system and everyone had health insurance coverage, then the miltimillions that Brinker and her board now want the US public to put up and funnel through her operation, with funds taken out for overhead, exec salaries, executive funding and the rest of the costs of having a middle man to feed, could be used instead for direct services to women for the very early and continued screening purposes needed.

              It's worth asking: how many more women in need of surveillence could be seen and tested and followed without the deductions for the middle man?

              Seems to me that what Brinker wants to do now is make her operation a pass through for tax payer monies, some of which she will take off the top as the administrator.

              To me this is really the bottom of the barrel.  Sick people and their families out pounding the pavement to raise money for breast cancer research "for the cure" where a whole lot of those funds go into admin and salaries.  Why isn't Brinker, who is independently wealthy, taking a dollar for an annual salary?

              In addition to that, now the operation wants to manage tax payer funds which are said to be directed at providing services for women's health.  After a big portion is lopped off the top for the admin.

              What this woman should be out doing in my humble opinion -- but will not be doing because she's really a politician -- is banging on doors and banging heads together for the US to move to a single payer system.  And eradicate her own operation and her own job of running a begging business on the backs of people who are sick, some dying and a very great many without the resources necessary to get the care they need.  If for no other reason than the substantial increase in funds available for breast cancer research and the provision of clinical services to women which would occur without having high paid execs getting paid out of the revenue stream.

              Call me nuts. But it seems to me the best way to move the money to where it will do the most good is to put the money other than in Komen's bank accounts.

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Mar 31, 2012 11:24AM - edited Aug 10, 2012 05:42PM by del4

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Mar 31, 2012 12:23PM CLC wrote:

Well said, Pompeed!

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. ~Maori Proverb Surgery 10/28/2010 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 9/15/2011, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 10/6/2011 Mastectomy: Left

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