April 24, 2023 - Tigerlily Foundation (Tigerlily) announced today that the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) has committed to the #InclusionPledge—an unprecedented global, multistakeholder initiative focused on diversity, inclusion, and eliminating disparities for Black women living with breast cancer.
As an organization dedicated to ending disparities in our lifetime, Tigerlily recognizes that recent world events highlight the systemic racism that runs deep and affects every aspect of the lives of the Black population. This is especially true for breast cancer care in Black women. In fact, Black women:
- are often diagnosed at younger ages and have more aggressive breast cancer
- are often diagnosed at later stages and can often have a poorer prognosis
- face a 20% to 40% higher mortality rate of cancer, compared with overall rates of breast cancer in Black and White women, which are about the same
- have a 39% recurrence rate and a 52% higher relative risk of death
“These are statistics that I am tired of repeating year after year—with little to no change,” says Maimah Karmo, President, Tigerlily Foundation. “While there has been a heightened focus on ending health disparities, there still exists significant barriers to equity. There are significant opportunities to strengthen engagement among the Black community, healthcare providers and medical organizations, and to improve health and health outcomes. To bring about lasting change, we have partnered with our colleagues and friends to launch the #InclusionPledge to advocate for the inclusion of women of color across initiatives impacting their breast cancer and overall health. Nurses are at the front line—touching people and those who become patients at every step of their life and health journey. With such a critical role in patients’ health, we at Tigerlily are excited to partner with organizations like AONN+ to work towards equitable outcomes for Black women.”
AONN+ is proud to work with Tigerlily Foundation and the Black community to improve patient care and quality of life. AONN+ is committed to supporting the professional workforce that has historically served patients with cancer in greatest need. This includes patients of color who have long dealt with systemic and institutional injustices and racial inequities. These impacts have been well documented in our health and cancer care systems and were the catalyst to create the profession of navigation.
“Navigators work to make our healthcare system a more just and equitable place as they help patients identify personal strengths to empower their preference and priorities,” says Monica Dean, Director, Patient Navigation Program Development. “They bear witness to the extraordinary challenges facing all patients with cancer. A core competency of patient navigation is to demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to a diverse patient population, including, but not limited to, diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, age, culture, religion, abilities, and sexual orientation. With this basic value, all navigators work to expose health inequities and find solutions to ensure that all people have the opportunity to live healthy, fulfilling lives as they respond to patient needs and barriers.”
AONN+ implores all navigators to recommit in this moment to their personal and professional obligations to advance racial and health equity. AONN+ commits to collaborating with Tigerlily to further integrate health equity solutions into its content, programs, and organizational and navigation resources, with a specific focus on Black women.
AONN+ recognizes that the need for this work has never been more profound and commits to empowering our members and the patients they serve with the knowledge and tools necessary to effect lasting and impactful change.
Tigerlily invites organizations around the world to join AONN+ and many others in showing their support by signing the #InclusionPledge. Visit Tigerlily Foundation’s website to learn how you can collaborate with us to make a difference.
About the #InclusionPledge
The #InclusionPledge provides a transparent and tangible framework across multiple healthcare sectors to identify and track equitable actions that will result in measurable and improved outcomes for women of color facing a breast cancer diagnosis. Email
About Tigerlily Foundation
Tigerlily Foundation is a national breast cancer organization whose mission is to educate, empower, support, and advocate for young women ages 15 to 45 before, during, and after breast cancer. Tigerlily Foundation is dedicated to ending disparities of age, stage, and color. To learn more, visit tigerlilyfoundation.org, or follow on Twitter @TigerlilyCares, on Instagram at Tigerlily_Foundation, and on Facebook at Tigerlily Foundation.
About the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+)
AONN+ is the largest national specialty organization dedicated to improving patient care and quality of life by defining, enhancing, and promoting the role of oncology nurse and patient navigators. The organization, which has more than 9,000 members, was founded in 2009 to provide a network for all professionals involved and interested in patient navigation and survivorship care services in order to better manage the complexities of the cancer treatment process. www.aonnonline.org.