The regional affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure has chosen a new leader. Thomas Bruner is returning to Portland, where he's known for his work with the Cascade AIDS Project and the local Red Cross.
Komen's national leaders were criticized by supporters for halting grants for women's health services provided by Planned Parenthood.
Bruner says it was definitely a misstep, and not something he would have done. But he also says he was impressed at how the national board reversed course, and with the Oregon and Southwest Washington affiliate's opposition to the policy.
Bruner says there's important work ahead for Komen. "There are still tens of thousands of uninsured low-income women in this state who do not have access to preventive care, early detection and screening. There are women in rural parts of the state who don't have physical access to the care they need."
Bruner says his immediate goals include rebuilding Komen's local reputation, and strengthening its foundation and grant support. Most of all, he says, he wants to encourage people not to turn their backs on next month's Race for the Cure because of a national policy that's been reversed.