Northern Westchester Hospital received a $75,000 grant from the Avon Foundation for Women to support the hospital’s Breast Health Initiative for Underserved Women (BHI). Through BHI, women in Northern Westchester receive free, accessible, comprehensive, and timely breast health services from education, screening, risk assessment and intervention to diagnosis, state-of-the-art treatment, and follow-up. The latest grant from the Avon Foundation for Women to NWH makes for a total of $810,000 since 2006.

While some imaging centers in the community provide breast screening, BHI is the only program in Northern Westchester that offers free comprehensive breast health services for underserved women. BHI targets women age 40 and over or those at high risk of breast cancer (92 percent are Latina). Ninety percent of BHI patients live at or below the poverty level and 85 percent are without health insurance.

BHI staff use culturally sensitive, bilingual breast health information shared at health fairs/seminars along with individual consultations with a Nurse Practitioner. NWH also offers monthly BHI clinics where patients receive free breast health education, screening (clinical breast exams and mammograms) and risk assessment. The NWH Breast Surgeon Fellow provides needed biopsies and surgery. Funding from the Avon Foundation for Women will support NWH’s efforts that are critical to maintaining BHI’s high patient satisfaction and retention rate.

“We are so pleased to continue to support the Breast Health Initiative at Northern Westchester Hospital, which is providing critical outreach and care to underserved women,” said Carolyn Ricci, Program Director of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. “The mission of the Breast Health Initiative is closely aligned with our core mission, which is to promote and aid charitable, scientific, educational, and humanitarian activities, with a special emphasis on activities that improve the lives of women and their families. Collectively, we need to ensure that women who do not have the financial means or health insurance still receive high-quality healthcare.”

“With Avon’s incredibly generous support over the years, NWH’s Breast Health Initiative has generated significant results, with the number of patients tripling since 2007. In 2016, we look forward to continuing our successful outreach program targeted toward Latina women,” said Mary Donovan-Greco, RN, MSN, FNP-C, CBCN, Clinical Breast Specialist & Coordinator at NWH. “Providing high-quality breast health services through BHI is critical since studies show that Hispanic women are diagnosed with breast cancer at later stages, often with larger tumors at the time of diagnosis. It is imperative that we continue to educate patients about early diagnosis and identify patients with breast cancer at the earliest stage possible.”

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