Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade
Prior to creating Fresh Advantage and her work as senior vice president at a community hospital in Connecticut (2004–2011), Marydale developed her expertise working as an independent consultant with philanthropic organizations. Using a systems reform approach and public–private–nonprofit partnership structures to facilitate innovative approaches to long-standing public health challenges, Marydale assisted philanthropic foundations with developing and funding new initiatives to address public health disparities. Outstanding among this work are her many years of service (1993–2003) as the Executive Consultant to the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade.
Marydale’s long-term work with the Avon Foundation honed numerous skills she now brings to foundation-supported population health initiatives focusing on food security and nutrition:
- Strategic plan development, beginning with a focus on development of systems to expand access to breast cancer screening for minority and low-income women (see American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol. 16, 1991), including the construction of dedicated breast care centers at public safety-net hospitals. This work expanded to support for biomedical research in breast cancer that filled gaps in funding from governmental and other funding sources.
- Development of partnerships with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Association for the Advancement of Cancer Research, YWCA of the USA, CancerCare, and many leading US academic medical centers, as well as local community-based nonprofit organizations. These varied partnerships enabled the Avon Foundation to address different aspects of need in the continuum of care for public education, screening and treatment of breast cancer, social support, and research.
- Development of a consulting team to support training, technical assistance, and evaluation of the nationwide “access to screening” initiative, which is ongoing since its inception in 1993.
- Formation of a Scientific Advisory Board of nationally prominent experts in breast cancer research, treatment, and public health to oversee and advise the research funding component of the strategic philanthropy plan.
- Oversight and grants management of funded projects.