UAMS Breast Cancer Awareness Program Receives $25,000

By Nate Hinkel

LITTLE ROCK – The Witness Project, a program of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) to increase awareness of breast cancer, has been awarded a $25,000 one-year grant from the Avon Foundation for Women. It is the 10th year the program has received Avon Foundation for Women funding.

The Witness Project educates southeastern Arkansas-area women and refers them to low-cost or free mammograms and clinical breast exams in their own communities or by mobile mammography screenings. In 2010, the Witness Project reached more than 600 women with information about the importance of early detection of breast cancer and referred more than 300 women for mammograms and clinical breast exams.

“We are proud that the Avon Foundation for Women shares our mission and has chosen to support our program again,” said Cynthia Maxwell, project director of the Witness Project. “With these funds we will be able to continue our mission of educating the women in Arkansas about the importance of early detection.”

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the United States, and the leading single cause of death overall in women between the ages of 40 and 55. According to the American Cancer Society, 1,820 new cases of breast cancer will be detected in Arkansas this year and 410 lives will be lost. Nationwide, there is a new diagnosis every three minutes and a death from breast cancer every 14 minutes. While advances have been made in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure, early detection still affords the best opportunity for successful treatment. Programs such as the Witness Project help ensure that all women have access to early detection information and options, especially poor and medically underserved women.

Since 1993, the Avon Foundation for Women has awarded more than 1,425 grants to community-based breast health programs across the United States, including The Witness Project at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. These programs are dedicated to educating underserved women about breast cancer and linking them to early detection screening services.

The Avon Foundation for Women, an accredited 501(c)(3) public charity, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women and today is the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women. Avon philanthropy focuses its funding on breast cancer research and access to care, efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence, its women’s environmental movement to nurture nature, and efforts to provide relief and recovery in times of major natural disasters and emergencies. Since the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade launched in 1992, Avon breast cancer programs in more than 50 countries have raised almost $700 million for research and advancing advance access to care, regardless of a person’s ability to pay. In addition to receiving generous support from Avon Products, Inc., and its sale of Avon “pink ribbon” products, the Foundation raises funds through a variety of events and walks, such as the U.S. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series, which is the Foundation’s largest fund-raising source.

For more information on the Witness Project, call Cynthia Maxwell at (501) 661-9603.  For more information about breast cancer, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit, or the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-4-CANCER or

To learn more about the Avon Foundation for Women, call 1-866-505-AVON or visit, where you can access free printable Breast Health Resource Guides in English and Spanish. 

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a 540,000-square-foot hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and six institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,836 students and 761 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or