UNM Cancer Research & Treatment Center to Provide Childcare for Women Undergoing Breast Cancer Treatment

Underinsured and underserved women who are being evaluated for breast cancer, or who are receiving treatment for breast cancer at the UNM Cancer Research and Treatment Center and UNM Hospitals will be able to get free short-term childcare thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Central New Mexico affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.


"In many families in New Mexico where both parents work or are going to school, options are already limited when it comes to childcare," said Elba Saavedra, who will oversee the new program called "Nuevo Amanecer" or New Dawn.  "Although there are other assistance programs, women who need short-term, immediate childcare may not qualify," Saavedra said.


"When parents are ill, especially when they're seriously ill, the need is even greater for short-term childcare. Although, they may have family or other support systems, sometimes these resources are limited," Saavedra said. Because childcare is so underfunded, both nationally and in New Mexico, childcare centers cannot survive if they do not get funding or more scholarships to help these families.  In order to cover their operating expenses, childcare centers require parents who need full-time, long-term care for their children, she explained.


Through the Susan G. Komen Foundation grant, the UNM Cancer Research and Treatment Center will contract with four local childcare centers in Albuquerque to provide immediate, short-term childcare services for non-school aged children while their mother, grandmother, or other female primary caregiver is evaluated for breast cancer or receives treatment for breast cancer at the UNM Cancer Research and Treatment Center or UNM Hospitals. The project will also assess each patient's childcare needs and work with local childcare resources to develop a long-term childcare plan.

Contact: Lynn Melton, 272-3322

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