Are you suffering from “Komen fatigue?”
If so, you probably aren’t alone. I wasn’t going to even write this post because frankly, I’m feeling a bit “Komen fatigued” myself.
Still, the most recent developments at Susan G. Komen for the Cure® were pretty interesting…
Last week (on August 8, 2012) it was announced that Nancy Brinker was stepping down as CEO. It’s not like she’s leaving or anything, though undoubtedly some probably wish she would.
No, Ms. Brinker won’t be going anywhere, but will instead focus more on global strategic planning and fundraising in her new role as Executive Board Chair.
In the same news release, it was also announced that Komen President Liz Thompson would be leaving next month.
Though Ms. Brinker says this latest development just happened and adamantly denies it is in any way related to the recent Planned Parenthood fiasco and the subsequent fallout, the timing seems anything but coincidental to me.
In my opinion, it appears to be all about timing and very much related to all that has gone down in recent months.
Last week’s announcement came almost exactly six months after the Planned Parenthood fiasco last winter.
Who doesn’t remember that incident and the ensuing tidal wave that immediately followed?
It seems likely the Komen organization may have decided shortly thereafter to give that incident six months or so to see how things would shake out.
As it turned out, the shakeout resulted in lots of fall out.
Last winter damage control measures were put into play of course, but the timing was off and some of the damage control itself was also questioned.
Nancy Brinker’s decision to step down from her CEO post comes after the resignation of numerous others.
In addition, Ms. Brinker’s announcement followed closely on the heels of the wrist-slapping the Komen organization received just days prior to the announcement. Komen came under harsh criticism from medical experts due in large part to a recent ad, which many maintain used highly misleading information about mammograms. You can read about that here.
If this isn’t all about timing, I don’t know what is.
For a more thorough, accurate and concise synopsis of all recent Komen shenanigans, take a look at Gayle Sulik’s recent well thought-out post in which she brilliantly summarizes things.
The general reaction to Ms. Brinker’s resignation as CEO appears to be that it really won’t matter all that much. Skepticism abounds.
Many feel it’s too little too late.
Donna, one of my very wise readers, said this: “They are just moving the chairs around the table, but it’s still the same table.”
I understand Donna’s skepticism. I’m pretty darn skeptical myself.
This might indeed be just another case of shuffling chairs around the table.
However, I do believe the scrutiny the Komen organization has come under since this past winter has made a difference. I do believe the organization has heard at least some of the “noise.” I do believe a crossroad has been reached.
I also believe, or at least I’d sure like to believe, real and meaningful change is still possible at the pink empire.
What kind of change do you want, you might be asking?
For starters, here are a couple suggestions the Komen organization might wish to consider:
Instead of merely stating you’ve learned from past mistakes; state exactly what those mistakes were, what you’ve learned from them and how you intend to change so such mistakes are not repeated.
Make a commitment to stop using simplistic and misleading information in ads and all educational material and end what appears to be science denialism by becoming better grounded in scientific fact.
Strive to partner and collaborate with other charitable organizations which have similar goals.
This one’s huge – do a better job on all fronts of embracing the metastatic breast cancer community.
And most importantly of all, dedicate far more of the funds you rake in annually to scientifically based research.
As friend and blogging colleague Jody, from Women With Cancer, said in a tweet last week, “We need to make the change — not watch for it. It’s time to MAKE the changes.”
Maybe it is all about timing.
Maybe it is time for all of us to step up and help make the changes.
The time to move this conversation further ahead is now.
Are you with me?