Forge supports, empowers, and improves medical access and outcomes for Alabama breast cancer patients, survivors, and those who love them from the day of diagnosis through the rest of life.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer in Alabama is especially daunting. Alabama is one of only eleven states that has chosen not to expand Medicaid following the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act. Moreover, since 2005, seven rural hospitals have closed in Alabama and, according to data collected by the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform, 25 of Alabama’s 52 rural hospitals are in danger of closing, with 16 of those considered in immediate danger. Increasingly, Alabamians have been forced to travel an average of 90 miles each way for chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, and to rely on nonprofits to provide them with access to cancer healthcare and resources.
Forge does just that. We step into the void, providing individualized supportive services to anyone impacted by breast cancer in Alabama.
At Forge, our Core Values are at the heart of everything we do. We commit to living the following values in all of our words, actions, and decisions:
Forged in collaboration and sustained by community, Forge began in 2014 as the Breast Cancer Survivorship Rehabilitation Initiative (BCSRI), an initiative of the Women’s Breast Health Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. Its purpose was to research breast cancer survivorship needs in central Alabama. Results of a community-wide assessment revealed gaps and barriers from point of diagnosis throughout the balance of life. As a result, Forge Breast Cancer Survivor Center was launched in 2016 as a unique collaborative pilot project of the Women’s Breast Health Fund at the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and the four major health care systems in central Alabama: Ascension St. Vincent’s, UAB Health System, Brookwood Baptist Health, and Grandview Medical Center. Its purpose was to provide wrap-around supportive services within the breast cancer community.
In 2020, Forge was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization as Forge Survivorship Center but continues to do our work as Forge Breast Cancer Survivor Center. Forge offers strength by creating personalized survivorship plans and pairing clients with volunteer mentors to listen and accompany them to appointments; provides resources such as health and wellness classes, professional mental health counseling, and gas cards for transportation to appointments; and works to build a community of survivors and volunteers to Forge a new future together.