Portsmouth, VA - Portsmouth Partnership to Beat Breast Cancer


The Portsmouth Partnership to Beat Breast Cancer project will address breast cancer disparities among African Americans in Portsmouth, Virginia through outreach, education and systems change. The project engages community organizations and health systems in Portsmouth to increase knowledge about breast cancer, reduce internal and structural barriers to screening and care, and increase mammography screening among African American women.

African American women in the city of Portsmouth experience the highest breast cancer mortality rate in the state of Virginia. Their mortality rate is 47.1 women per 100,000, compared to the rate of 25.6 women per 100,000 among Caucasians in the same geography (age-adjusted death rates for Virginia, 2004-2008, statecancerprofiles.cancer.gov). Out of about 97,000 residents, the population of the city of Portsmouth is 54% African American (US Census 2010).

African American mother and daughter smiling

Project Partners

The Society has established collaborative agreements with both Sentara Healthcare and Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System to support screening navigation at their respective facilities serving Portsmouth residents. Additional partners include Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta and Grove Baptist Church.

CHI Webpage African American Female

Project Impact

Over the course of the project, American Cancer Society will utilize its community health advisor network to educate and navigate to screening, women living in Portsmouth and the Norfolk area. In addition, the project will leverage the collective influence and reach of its Community Network Partnerships to ensure community-wide expansion.