The National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program has reported that approximately 12.9% of women will get diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Although Black women get breast cancer at a slightly lower incidence rate (3%) than white women, Black women are 42% more likely to face mortality. This Fall, The Chrysalis Initiative (TCI) will launch BC Navi, a website and app that will work to close the healthcare gap for Black women by providing the necessary tools to recognize and address racism in the healthcare industry. This digital platform will center on the needs of the breast cancer community through providing shared resources, a patient-curated provider directory, and the ability for users to connect directly with their individual TCI coach—all with the purpose of ensuring every patient receives the equitable care they deserve.
Launched in 2019, The Chrysalis Initiative provides patients with mentoring, resource navigation, and equips women of disparate groups with the opportunity to assess their breast cancer risk and care intelligently. TCI pushes patients and providers to examine how implicit bias shows up in the way care is administered and guides participants into a responsive and inquiry-based space, empowering both the provider and patient through the cancer treatment process.
The Chrysalis Cancer Coaching Curriculum is designed to ensure a patient’s knowledge of a comprehensive model for optimal cancer care. BC Navi, the first-ever app designed specifically for Black women with breast cancer, supports this curriculum, tracking a continuum of care while providing a dashboard for users to see how their consistent engagement with BC Navi resources have helped them recognize and advocate for quality standards of care. The app also allows patients to share their individual experiences at various oncology centers, an all-important step in reforming practices, treatment, and screening protocols for equitable outcomes for Black women and other disparate groups.
Founded and developed by Jamil Rivers, The Chrysalis Initiative was born from her experiences of offering guidance to women on how to thrive while living with breast cancer, as she was actively receiving chemotherapy herself. After being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer de novo, Rivers’ determination to fight and survive for her family launched her into vigorous research to understand and contend with breast cancer. The extensive research that saved her life became the foundation of a lifelong commitment to exploring and enacting optimal and comprehensive breast cancer care. As a Black woman, Rivers understands the unique experiences of women of color in healthcare and coaches her team to service patients through a lens of empathy.
“Black women will no longer have to be in the dark about their cancer care treatment. They no longer have to wonder about how they can get equitable care. We got you. No more waiting on a biased system,” says Founder and CEO, Jamil Rivers.
Through its One-On-One Coaching Program, The Chrysalis Initiative informs and empowers Black women and women of color throughout their treatment, helping them to feel confident and in charge by managing the worries and challenges specific to their experiences. The patient-first approach prioritizes using the BC Navi App to eliminate racial bias in healthcare through continued education and connection.
The BC Navi App will be available in October 2021 on Android and iOS.