Susan G. Komen Affiliates in Wisconsin Join Forces to Increase Local Impact

Susan G. Komen’s three Wisconsin affiliates–Central, South Central and Southeast Wisconsin–have joined forces to form the new entity, Susan G. Komen Wisconsin, to better serve existing service areas and in anticipation of expanding efforts throughout state.

The combined organization, which will be headquartered in Milwaukee, will incorporate the current staff, volunteer leadership, grant-making relationships and fundraising capacities of all three organizations. While the name has changed, the services offered and annual events hosted by each former affiliate remain the same.

Nikki Panico, former executive director of Komen Southeast Wisconsin, will continue on as Komen Wisconsin’s executive director; Michelle Heitzinger will remain area director in South Central Wisconsin; and in Central Wisconsin, the Board of Directors, including President Sandy Draeger, will continue their important work in the area.

“Combining our resources in a smart, strategic way will enable us to not only increase revenue and make a more significant impact on breast cancer and breast health in our current service areas, but also better position us to expand our impact throughout the state,” said Panico. “Aligned with Komen’s ‘Bold Goal’ to reduce current breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026, the new organization will continue the affiliates’ focus to fund grants that help remove financial barriers to screening and those that meet identified gaps in breast health care and education.”

Komen Wisconsin will serve former Komen Central Wisconsin’s seven-county service area, former Komen South Central Wisconsin’s eight-county service area, and former Komen Southeast Wisconsin’s seven-county service area, with plans to strategically expand over time to include counties not currently being served between these locations and in other parts of the state.

“While we have worked closely with the other Wisconsin affiliates in the past, we are thrilled to now officially unite to better serve those throughout the state,” added Heitzinger.

The annual Race for the Cure events will remain in each former affiliate location, including Madison, Wausau and Milwaukee. Komen Wisconsin will continue to offer valuable programs and resources, such as its grant and research funding, and educational efforts.

“This is an exciting time for Central Wisconsin,” added Draeger. “Joining forces with our partners in Milwaukee and Madison will only strengthen our efforts, increase our impact, and allow us to continue our mission on a grander scale.”

About Susan G. Komen® and Komen Wisconsin

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Komen was founded in 1982 by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Komen Wisconsin is working to better the lives of those facing breast cancer in the local community. Through events like the Komen Southeast Wisconsin, Komen South Central Wisconsin, and Komen Central Wisconsin Race for the Cure®, Komen Wisconsin has invested $17.9 million in community breast health programs twenty-two counties, and has helped contribute to the more than $920 million invested globally in research. For more information, call 414-389-4888 or visit