Susan G. Komen Maryland announced today that it will close its local office following a decision to disaffiliate from its parent organization, Susan G. Komen. 

The Maryland affiliate’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to disaffiliate effective April 1, 2021. 

Komen Maryland will distribute all remaining funding to local healthcare groups that provide services to those affected by breast cancer, such as Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Atlantic General Hospital. 

The decision to disaffiliate resulted from national changes to the organization’s structure in 2020. Susan G. Komen decided to downsize the organization due to financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In April 2020, Komen announced a series of changes that would centralize all operations by integrating the independent Affiliate Network into the larger organization. Komen closed 60 local offices and integrated those operations into its Dallas headquarters. 

“Due to these recent changes nationally, money raised locally will no longer be directly accessible through programs to people impacted by breast cancer living here in Maryland,” said Michael Jessup, Executive Director of Susan G. Komen Maryland, in a news release. 

“We wanted to find a way to honor our mission and give one last gift to programs we have partnered with for so many years, and who are also on the front lines of the fight to end breast cancer,” he said. 

Komen Maryland provides research, patient care, community impact, and advocacy. According to the organization’s website, Komen Maryland has contributed more than $41 million to local breast health programs and national research into cures. 

Additionally, there are currently 9 active research grants totaling $16.3 million at Maryland institutions such as Johns Hopkins University. 

“While this news is painful to so many of us in the breast cancer community, we know that using these funds, one last time, to support local breast cancer programs is the best way to honor our donors,” said Mardel Kowalewski, President of the Board of Directors, in a press release. 

“We are honored to have had the opportunity to see the work that so many wonderful local groups have been doing first-hand,” she said.