ATHENA Breast Health Network

Grantee Organization: University of California Office of the President and the Safeway Foundation

Term: 2009-present

This groundbreaking project involves 150,000 women in a California-wide collaboration for breast cancer patients with the goal of revolutionizing the course of their care by designing and testing new approaches to research, technology, and health care delivery. Women will be screened and followed for decades through five UC medical centers. The specific aims of the project are:

-Create common systems to integrate clinical research and care across the UC campuses to advance the science of prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer.

-Drive innovation across the UC system to deliver and finance more effective and efficient systems for personalized and biologically targeted care, using breast cancer as a prototype.

-Create a biospecimen repository that has broad racial and ethnic representation.

-Reduce morbidity and mortality by gaining a molecular understanding of breast cancer and factors that fuel breast cancer risk.

-Improve understanding of who is at risk for what kind of cancer, and whether the risk of that cancer is significant or minimal.

-Generate the evidence for developing more effective and less toxic treatments and to drive innovation in prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

-Provide tools to change the way patients and providers interact to prevent and manage the disease.

Professors Joan Bloom and Stephen Shortell are serving as Co-PIs and co-leading the Evidence-based Management Center to assist in learning from this innovative multi-stakeholder initiative. This has included baseline and over time surveys and interviews assessing organizational culture, teamwork, coordination and leadership issues associated with the evolution of the ATHENA initiative along with arranging for targeted technical assistance.