Connecticut Breast Health Centers And Resources

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Connecticut has a wide array of breast health resources and accredited breast centers. These organizations and institutions work to remove care barriers and collaborate on solutions and funding during the cancer diagnosis and treatment process.  The following is a partial list of resources available to residents.

• American Cancer Society: Among other assistance to those undergoing treatment or learning about cancer, ACS’s Cancer Action Network works to protect and inform consumers about legislation and other advocacy matters, such as the Affordable Health Care Act and Connecticut legislative priorities related to cancer and health care.

• Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center (The only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in CT) Genetic Counseling Program:  A shared resource with Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven.  The website says, “The program provides genetic counseling and testing to people at increased risk for hereditary cancer and helps them to make informed medical decisions based on their own personal risk assessment.”

• National Cancer Institute-designated (NCI) Community Cancer Center at the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center of Hartford Hospital: Director Dr. Andrew Salner, said, “In our Community Cancer Center role, we are able reach out to communities with less successful cancer outcomes… Part of our mission is to provide a single standard of care to anyone who walks through our door.  We provide the full continuum of care that is needed. We won’t let a patient down… That means that we sometimes reach out to generous donors when other insurances and programs don’t cover the care our patients need.”

• The CT Breast Health Initiative:  This organization funds research and education.  According to their website: “Our mission is to make a difference locally in the fight against breast cancer through education and research … funding a diversified portfolio of clinical/ translational research with emphasis on programs that have not yet qualified for federal grants targeting breast cancer cause and survival.” To date, CT BHI has awarded more than $1.6 million in grants.

• Susan G. Komen for the Cure Connecticut Affiliate: Since 1994, Komen CT has invested more than $21 million in education, screening, treatment and research…75% restricted to Connecticut grants.  The remainder goes to Komen’s international research fund, which, in turn, is currently funding over $3.9 million in active breast cancer research in Connecticut.

• The Connecticut Challenge: Created in 2004, primarily around a first-class bicycling fundraiser.  According to the website:  “The mission of the Connecticut Challenge is to empower cancer survivors to live healthier, happier and longer lives. In 2011, programs funded by the CT Challenge directly impacted the lives of over 15,000 cancer survivors while members of our Survivorship Network served the needs of thousands more.”  In addition to educational guidance, the group focuses on funding adult survivorship clinics in CT.

• Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE):  The website says, “FORCE is the only national nonprofit organization devoted to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Our mission includes support, education, advocacy, awareness, and research specific to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Our programs serve anyone with a BRCA mutation or a family history of cancer.”  Website has many links to support on this topic.

• Right Action for Women:  Actress and breast cancer survivor Christina Applegate’s foundation in partnership with the Entertainment Industry Foundation.  The website says, “Right Action for Women will provide aid to individuals who are at increased risk for breast cancer and do not have insurance or the financial flexibility to cover the high costs associated with breast screenings.”  Right Action primarily funds breast MRIs.

• The Witness Project of CT: Headquartered in Bridgeport, CT, this organization is a “culturally competent community-based breast and cervical cancer education program for African American women.” Marilyn Moore, CEO, said that when her organization reaches out with breast health education to women who do not have a primary health provider or insurance, they are often faced with a gap for funds.  They do not provide funding for genetic tests.

• The Breast Cancer Alliance (Greenwich): The mission of the Breast Cancer Alliance is to fund innovative breast cancer research and to promote breast health through education and outreach.  According to their website, they “have awarded over $13.8 million in grants over the past 14 years… currently the fourth largest non-profit, private funding provider to breast cancer research in the U.S.”  To make early detection of breast cancer widely available, the Alliance supports a variety of programs providing free mammograms and other services through several organizations, including: CancerCare Connect, Corporate Angel Network, Greenwich Hospital, Hartford Hospital, the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven, Norma E. Pfriem Breast Care Center at Bridgeport Hospital, Open Door Family Medical Centers, Sacred Heart University, St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, Stamford Hospital Foundation, the Witness Project of Connecticut, the YWCA Greenwich ENCORE Program, and the YWCA Encore Plus Program in White Plains.

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