Bright Pink is thrilled to announce that we have been selected as the winner (out of 70 applicants!) of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) and MATTER Health Equity Innovation Challenge! Our grand prize includes $15,000 and the opportunity to pilot our Assess Your Risk experience in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield–all rooted in a goal to help address racial and socioeconomic disparities in breast and ovarian cancer risk and reach more black and low-income women with personalized prevention.
Why is this pilot important?
Here is the harsh reality: Black and low-income women are more likely to die from breast and ovarian cancer. Up to 25% of breast and ovarian cancers are due to family history or genetic mutation. Among younger women, African American women have a higher rate of cancers that are associated with hereditary cancer risk, such as triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive subtype that is associated with the BRCA1 gene mutation. This demographic has a breast cancer rate that is two times higher than white women under age 35 and dies three times as often as white women of the same age.
Unfortunately, women at elevated risk due to genetics and family history continue to go unidentified and are therefore not connected to cancer prevention services. An estimated 2.3 million people in the U.S. carry a mutation that puts them at an extremely high risk for cancer, yet an estimated 90 percent are unaware of their risk status.
At Bright Pink, we see an opportunity to close this gap through our digital risk assessment experience, AssessYourRisk.org. Digital tools can be a catalyst for personal prevention because of their accessibility and ability to bring health information to and facilitate ongoing proactive health management with women in their daily lives—on their own terms, in their own environment, from their social feeds. Now is the time to leverage the power of digital, in partnership with healthcare organizations, to address women’s cancer mortality rate disparities … that’s where our pilot with BCBSIL comes in.
What does this pilot opportunity mean, exactly?
Bright Pink is committed to continuous learning, testing, and evolving of our digital programming to meet women where they are and empower them to manage their health proactively. A pilot with BCBSIL will help to accelerate innovation around the Assess Your Risk experience by:
- Scaling the tool’s reach among women of color and women with low-incomes who have health coverage that affords them the ability to access preventive care.
- Contributing to research on breast and ovarian cancer risk stratification among women of color who have historically been excluded from breast and ovarian cancer risk studies.
- Optimizing the risk assessment experience based on insights from BCBSIL leadership and members. Specifically, Bright Pink seeks to better address barriers to care, enhance the tool’s cultural competency, and optimize our multi-channel follow-up strategy based on best practices in digital communication as a driver of health behavior change.
Imagine if every woman in Illinois, every woman in America, had equal opportunity for a bright future because they knew their risk for breast and ovarian cancer, understood the steps they could take to reduce that risk over time, and were empowered to become their own best health advocates? We are confident that this pilot with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois will put us on a better path to achieving this goal.