Northern Westchester Hospital (NWH) received a $75,000 grant from the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade to support the Hospital’s Breast Health Initiative for Underserved Women (BHI), which provides free or low cost, accessible and comprehensive breast health services to eligible underserved women 40 and older, 95 percent of whom are Latina. The grant will provide more than 500 individuals with breast health services, ranging from mammography screening to cancer treatment. Since 2006, NWH has received 11 grants from Avon BCC.
“We are grateful to Avon for their long-term partnership and support of our efforts to provide education, prevention and early detection for women in the underserved Latina community where breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death,” says Gaby Golod Greenwald, Vice President of the NWH Foundation, noting that 90 percent of BHI patients live at or below the poverty level and 100 percent are without health insurance. “We are seeing an increase in the incidence rate of breast cancer within the BHI population and many of our Latina patients are diagnosed at later stages. That’s why BHI’s services are so critical. We must continue to educate women and identify those with breast cancer at the earliest stage possible.”
According to the American Cancer Society in Westchester County, breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer death among Latina women.
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’s program is designed to overcome social and economic barriers that prevent women from receiving quality breast health care, such as lack of insurance, undocumented residency status, lack of education, limited health literacy and other cultural barriers.
BHI uses culturally sensitive, bilingual breast health information at health fairs/seminars and individual consultations with the program’s Clinical Coordinator, a breast nurse practitioner. NWH also offers weekly BHI clinics where patients receive free breast health education, screening (clinical breast exams and mammograms) and risk assessment by the program’s Clinical Coordinator. NWH radiologists and breast surgeons provide additional diagnostic imaging, biopsies and surgery.
With Avon’s support of BHI, NWH has reduced healthcare disparities and increased access to high quality breast healthcare services for the growing number of Latinas in its community. NWH offers early morning, evening and Saturday mammogram appointments at NWH or Yorktown Imaging. For more information, visit https://nwhbreastinstitute.org/screenings-diagnosis/womens-imaging-center or call 914-666-1445.