The Ulster Savings Charitable Foundation awarded a grant in the amount of $15,000 to the Benedictine Health Foundation to support a new initiative, the Breast Education and Breast Outreach Program (BEBOP), which was developed by the staff of the Fern Feldman Anolick Center for Breast Health and the Oncology Support Program at Benedictine Hospital, a member of HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley.
This new initiative addresses an urgent community need and is designed to close the gap for a significant segment of our region’s population through outreach and education by promoting screening and diagnosis among minority and underserved women.
“Lower-income, uninsured and under-insured women have a great advocate in BEBOP,” said MaryRose Warcholak, Executive Director of the Ulster Savings Charitable Foundation. “We’re pleased to support this critical health initiative in our community.”
For many of the lower-income women targeted for free screening and diagnostic services (which are made possible by the Cancer Services Program of New York State’s Department of Health) significant barriers remain including awareness of the program and its scope, administrative challenges, language, transportation, and lack of child or elder care. Benedictine’s Center for Breast Health has been providing breast cancer screenings to eligible women, but the barriers noted contribute to late diagnosis and extremely high mortality among Spanish-speaking and African American women, and lower-income women.
The bilingual Outreach Worker for BEBOP will provide educational outreach through community-based organizations and work closely with the DOH Cancer Services Program. The Oncology Support Program will offer to BEBOP participants a range of free educational and wellness programs as well as administrative support, supervision and access to the Hospital’s language translation services as needed.
Approximately 1,200 people will be directly served each year by BEBOP outreach with both short- and long-term outcomes. For information about BEBOP, please contact Ellen Marshall, MS, L-CSW, Director of the Oncology Support Program, at (845) 339-2071, ext. 103.