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In their own words………..

GRANTS AT WORK IN OUR COMMUNITY
2009

Community Grants

Bergen County Department of Health Services - Bergen County
The Bergen County Cancer Education & Early Detection Program (BCCEED) provides free annual breast, cervical, and colorectal screening to more than 500 medically underserved women residing in Bergen County.  Clients must meet age, residency, and income guidelines, and be without adequate health insurance.  CEED is coordinated through the BCDHS, in collaboration with Bergen Regional Medical Center, Englewood Hospital & Medical Center, Holy Name Hospital, The Valley Hospital, and Palisades Medical Center.  In addition to screening, arrangements are in place to provide symptomatic clients with an immediate appointment for timely evaluation.  Trained Medical Interpreters (Polish, Korean, and Spanish speaking) are available through CEED to ensure clear communication between clients and staff.  A grant award from the North Jersey Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® would provide reliable, door to door transportation for screening and follow up appointments to more than 100 clients (20%) during the grant period, thus eliminating one of our most significant and challenging barriers to health care access.

CancerCare of New Jersey - Bergen County
CancerCare of New Jersey requests funding for the Comprehensive Financial Assistance Program for Women with Breast Cancer.  This program will provide direct financial assistance disbursements to approximately 50 women with breast cancer throughout Northern New Jersey for unmet needs, including transportation to and from treatment, homecare, childcare, pain medication, chemo-radiation therapy, and lymphedema supplies.  These women will also be offered CancerCare’s full complement of free professional support services, including individual/group/family counseling, education, information, practical assistance, and referrals.

Casting for Recovery - All Counties
Casting for Recovery is a national support and education organization that provides weekend retreats to women of any age and at any stage of breast cancer treatment and recovery.  The program is provided at no cost and incorporates the elements of fly-fishing into the curriculum to promote physical and mental healing.  The retreats are staffed by medical professionals, seasoned fly-fishing instructors and local community members.

The New Jersey Program began in 2000 and has held a retreat annually.  A local Volunteer Planning Team is responsible for the planning and execution of the Program.  An alumna of the Program is the Volunteer Planning Team Coordinator.  Each year more and more women from New Jersey register for the opportunity to attend the retreat.  In the last two years, nearly 100 women signed up to fill the 28 spaces available.  In response to this demonstrated need in New Jersey, the Team will expand the New Jersey Program to two retreats in this grant cycle.  The Volunteer Planning Team will also direct its focus on developing an alumni program.  This program would provide an avenue for the growing number of New Jersey alumni to stay in touch, bond and continue to provide support to one another.

Hoboken Family Planning, Inc. - Hudson County
Hoboken Family Planning, Inc., established in 1972, has been providing quality health care to the residents of Hudson County since its inception.  Our staff is largely bilingual, approximately 90%, aiding the delivery of our services to our patient population.  HFP, Inc. provides cancer education, outreach and screening free of charge to those patients who meet age, income and other requirements of this grant.  Female patients are screened for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers.  Education is provided by our staff on the cancers mentioned, free literature is provided and patients are educated on how to perform self-examination of the breast.

Our three sites, located in Hoboken, Union City, & West New York, act as entry points for many of our patients into Hudson County’s network of health care providers as medical needs are discovered.

Morristown Memorial Hospital - Morris County
The South Asian and Latino Community Outreach Program (Program) at Morristown Memorial Hospital will offer mammograms to 20 uninsured “at-risk” women.  In addition, the Program will provide breast health outreach and education services to 10,000 South Asian, and 5,000 Latino residents of Morris County.  In recognition of the importance of awareness and early detection, “young women, and women identified at high risk” will be a principal theme, and will include networking with schools for awareness, and also with survivors, to identify family members “at risk”.  BSE will be taught using age and language/literacy specific materials for teens and others in English, Spanish, and Hindi.  Eligible underserved Morris County women age 18 and above, who qualify for NJCEED, will receive priority breast screening at Morristown Memorial, and at our NJCEED sub sites at Morristown/Dover Planned Parenthood, the Dover Zufall Health Center, and Saint Clare’s Hospital Dover Clinic. The Peer Educator/Navigator program will continue to grow in the South Asian and Latino communities, focusing upon engaging community and business leaders for collaboration and understanding the need for breast cancer awareness. 

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center - Essex County
The Frederick B. Cohen, MD, Comprehensive Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC) is Newark’s busiest cancer center.  The Beautiful You Program, 2009-2010 is a partnership between Just For You of East Hanover and NBIMC.  Beautiful You helps uninsured and underinsured Essex County women with breast cancer to procure wigs, bras, and breast prosthesis. Just For You offers its high quality selection of prosthetics to women at NBIMC and other area hospitals, providing breast cancer patients with the chance to be fitted for an appropriate breast product or wig. For these women, Beautiful You is a true godsend; they have no other resource for these services. NBIMC administers this program at all participating Essex County hospitals.

Beautiful You is a critical part of recovery for many women, helping them to regain confidence and self-esteem and to heal emotionally as well as physically. Allowing them to feel like their “old” selves or like a “newer” version of themselves, Beautiful You provides these women with a real psychological boost like no other. Funding in 2009-2010 will allow us to provide about 100 women with wigs and about 50 women with mastectomy products.

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center - Essex County
The Breast Cancer Social Worker (BCSW) at the Frederick B. Cohen, MD, Comprehensive Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC) provides breast cancer patients with psychosocial and practical support and conducts educational programs on breast health and breast cancer prevention in the Newark community. Funding will allow NBIMC to further enhance care and education and target prevention efforts to the population most at risk for aggressive breast cancer black women.

The BCSW, a key member of our interdisciplinary care team, will spend 75% of her time with patients, providing numerous support services to approximately 100 women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer as well as the 580 women in treatment or follow-up. She will provide patients with psychosocial support at diagnosis, during treatment, and beyond, and help patients to secure social services, free or reduced cost prescriptions, transportation, prosthetics, and more. The BCSW will also spend time providing critical education to the community. She will reach about 600 women at about 15 different venues, including schools, churches and community centers, educating them on the importance of regular breast cancer screening and good preventive breast health care.

Overlook Hospital Foundation - Union County
Overlook Hospital is expanding its successful breast health outreach program to provide a multi-faceted breast health service for medically underserved African-American and Latina women.  This program will continue the components of past years, including raising awareness of breast health, hands on teaching of breast self-examination and screening guidelines, as well as clinical breast examination and referral for screening and diagnostic mammographies.  Overlook anticipates reaching a total of 6,000 women with these measures.

In addition to these early detection services, Overlook will provide supportive care for minority women under treatment for breast disease.  This program aims to reduce the stress of radiation, chemotherapy and surgery for breast disease through provision of physical, emotional and spiritual support services in the form of yoga, meditation, guided imagery, and nutritional guidance.  Sixty women are expected to benefit from these weekly group sessions.

Furthering the goal of better breast health for women, Overlook plans to host two continuing education trainings, one in Spanish and one in English, for breast health providers in Union, Essex and Morris counties.  These two events will ensure that the clinicians and outreach workers who are teaching breast health programs will be empowered with the latest medical information.

Project Self-Sufficiency of Sussex County - Sussex County
Project Self-Sufficiency’s Breast Health Awareness Project (BHAP) provides education and prevention efforts aimed at medically underserved women in Sussex County and bordering Warren County.  BHAP targets low-income, uninsured and underinsured women, as well as, high school and college students.  Through outreach efforts directed to colleges, high schools, and social service providers, women’s organizations and churches, and through the programs and services provided by Project Self-Sufficiency, BHAP provides women’s health nights, community forums, student presentations, health fairs, community collaborations and a comprehensive program of breast health education for Sussex County women and girls.  BHAP offers an on-site mobile mammography unit providing 40 free mammograms. Being situated within a holistic social service agency, BHAP ensures that women with positive results are referred and receive information about services, treatment options, and support making BHAP an essential part of the full circle of care in Sussex County.  BHAP works in collaboration with the Sussex County Cancer Coalition and BHAP coordinates and chairs the Sussex County “Tie a Ribbon” campaign.  The goal of BHAP is to provide preventative education to, at minimum, 5,000 underserved women, increasing early detection rates, and to increase awareness of community services for the uninsured and underserved, thus increasing access to care.

Saint Barnabas Lymphedema Program - Essex County
The Saint Barnabas Lymphedema Program takes a comprehensive approach to improving quality of life for breast cancer patients with lymphedema.  Lymphedema is the abnormal accumulation of lymphatic fluid that causes swelling of a body part.  For breast cancer survivors who have had surgery and/or radiation therapy, lymphedema may occur and generally affects the arm, chest, or hand.  Early assessment and treatment of lymphedema improves function and prevents long-term complications of this serious condition.

Our Komen-funded program will provide a minimum of 30 breast cancer survivors with no-cost compression garments.  These individuals are otherwise unable to access compression garments many of which are custom-made to provide optimal fit, function, and drainage.

A vitally important component of lymphedema care is the use of compression garments.  These costly items can dramatically reduce swelling by compressing swollen tissue and helping to move blood and lymphatic fluid to areas that are draining well. Compression garments also allow muscles to “pump” fluid away more effectively.  Our specially trained occupational and physical therapists devise custom treatment plans for each patient which often includes the use of compression sleeves, gauntlets, and gloves.  This program will improve the quality of life and function for breast cancer patients living with lymphedema.

Saint Barnabas Breast Center - Essex County
The Saint Barnabas Breast Center will provide 125 triple-read screening mammograms and ten breast MRIs for medically underserved women over age 40 who reside in the tri-county area.  Access to digital, triple-read mammography and state-of-the-art breast MRI will address the breast health needs of this vulnerable population.  Services will be provided in a patient-centered environment specially designed to meet the needs of the women in our care.  We are also committed to offering comprehensive breast health education for program participants as well as free transportation to the Ambulatory Care Center for those in need.

In addition to providing digital mammography and breast MRI, our program will offer DEXA scans for women who are at high-risk of developing osteoporosis as a complication of breast cancer treatment.  DEXA scans detect bone loss which can lead to an increased risk of fractures.  Early detection of osteoporosis is crucial to effective treatment and to limiting its complications.  Medically underserved women who have taken drugs called aromatase inhibitors as part of breast cancer treatment are more likely to experience bone loss.  Our program will begin to address this risk by offering 10 DEXA scans for this vulnerable population. 

Saint Michael’s Medical Center, Inc. - Essex County
The “In the Pink Program” provides breast health education and outreach services, breast cancer screenings, and linkage to follow-up care and treatment for underserved minority women impacted by health disparities residing in Newark and the greater Essex County area.  The program is based in Newark, NJ and typically serves women over the age of 40, including women aged 65 and older who are from racial and ethnic minority communities who are low income, poor, and/or uninsured or underinsured.  Activities support increasing early detection of breast cancer and linking women to treatment in order to decrease higher rates of mortality and morbidity.  Outreach and education activities are conducted through partnerships with diverse community, faith-based, and social organizations.  Women are engaged by encouraging them to take a pro-active role over their health.  Women get access to breast screenings, medical case management, and subsidized mammograms/subsidized biopsies/diagnostic tests.  The use of a breast health navigator and bi-lingual health educators support women from screening to treatment.  Women who would otherwise have no access to these resources are educated and assisted in making breast screenings and breast self-examinations an important and regular activity.  Services are available in both English and Spanish.

Sisters Network of Central New Jersey® Inc. - Somerset County
For the past eight years, Sisters Network of Central New Jersey® Inc. (SNCNJ) has served as a critical resource for African American Women (AAW) battling breast cancer.  SNCNJ is an affiliate chapter of Sisters Network ® Inc, a National African American Breast Cancer Survivorship Organization. Due to the continuing high breast cancer mortality rate among AAW, SNCJ continues to design their project to educate, provide support and bring awareness to underserved, underinsured/uninsured, and young AAW in the Central New Jersey area.  Because of the growing economic crisis and lack of health care, an indigent component of the project offers free mastectomy bras, sleeves and wigs, and provides transportation for chemo visits to qualified women.  To meet objectives the organization strives annually, to personally, reach 3,000 women, refer 30 plus for mammogram screenings, provide treatment assistance for 55 and reach 20,000 or more families using education and awareness materials, including television and radio.

St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center - Passaic County
The Rainbows of Hope Cancer Education & Early Detection Program (RHCEED Program) is a cancer screening and education program which provides free breast, cervical, prostate and colorectal cancer screenings and education to medically underserved residents of Passaic County for the early detection of cancer.  Since the inception of the RHCEED Program many residents of Passaic County have benefited from the services provided by this program, however, there are still many women who are not able to be screened because of eligibility requirements under the New Jersey CEED grant.  Financial support from  Susan G. Komen allows us to provide breast cancer screenings, outreach and education to women under the age of 40 who may not meet the critera of the NJCEED grant but are at risk of getting breast cancer. Clients who participate in breast cancer screenings receive a free clinical breast exam and a screening mammography.  Any participants with suspicious findings are given comprehensive follow up services and treatment.

St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center - Passaic County
The Breast Cancer Prosthesis, Bra and Wig Supportive Services Program will assist St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center’s breast cancer patients and breast cancer patients in Passaic County who are uninsured and underinsured obtain breast prostheses, mastectomy bras and wigs for the duration of their breast cancer treatment regimen.  This program will also provide a private and comfortable atmosphere for our patients as they receive professional assistance while having their post mastectomy and breast cancer treatment needs fulfilled.  The program’s goal is to service at least 25 patients with prostheses, bras and wigs.  Our target population includes women of all nationalities with breast cancer in Passaic County.

St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center - Passaic County
The Breast Cancer Treatment Assistance Program will offer financial assistance to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center’s breast cancer patients for medication, medical bills, not covered by charity care, and help navigate our complex healthcare system. Medical case management will also be offered to ensure easy access and comprehensive services for patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are in need of additional medical services.  Our goal is to reach 50 women who are uninsured or underinsured and are not eligible for Medicaid in Passaic County.  The Treatment Assistance Program will work in conjunction with the NJ CEED and Komen for the Cure screening program to ensure services are not duplicated.

Trinitas Hospital - Union County
Women who are undergoing treatment for breast cancer spend every day dealing with the sickness, depression and pain associated with radiation, chemotherapy and quite often a mastectomy.  To help them through this difficult period, Trinitas Regional Medical Center and Susan G. Komen for the Cure® North Jersey established the Made for Me Boutique.  Since 2004, this compassionate, bi-lingual program has assisted hundreds of low-income women from the nine counties in Susan G. Komen for the Cure® North Jersey’s service area by providing them with free and low-cost wigs, prosthetic forms, mastectomy bras and lymphedema products.  Most of our clients are uninsured, underinsured or lack the coverage for these important accessories.  Due to their financial circumstances, they must use what little money they have to pay for life’s necessities such as rent and food.  Purchasing “luxuries” such as wigs and lymphedema products is not an option on their tight budgets. Our goal is to keep them from having to make this painful choice and to enable them to receive the support they need and deserve but can not afford. 

Trinitas Hospital - Union County
Even though Trinitas Hospital treats every patient regardless of his or her ability to pay, we recognize that services designed to alleviate financial barriers to healthcare are only as good as the public’s awareness of them and ability to access them.  For this reason, we developed our Breast Health Outreach Program, a model initiative designed to improve our community’s breast cancer awareness and education levels while encouraging early screening and detection among the women we serve.  Since our inception, we have assisted over 10,900 women from the greater Elizabeth region, focusing primarily on the Hispanic and Black communities who comprise almost 80% of the population in our immediate service area.  Our Outreach Program takes a comprehensive approach to breast health, and holds each woman’s hand through the full circle of care.  We bring our bi-lingual services directly into the community where underserved women live and work to alleviate transportation barriers and to provide a comfortable, peer-driven atmosphere that dispels the fear and embarrassment associated with proper breast healthcare.  By promoting widespread education and screening, we have made considerable inroads toward achieving our overarching goal of improving cancer survival rates among the underserved women of our region.

UMDNJ-NJMS/UH Cancer Center - Essex County
Women who undergo screening mammograms at University Hospital or in their communities through the SAVE mobile mammography van funded by Komen for the Cure of Northern New Jersey and have suspicious mammograms are contacted to come in for further evaluation.  These women are financially, socially and educationally underserved and many do not speak English.  These factors frequently present barriers to entering the health care system and navigating it once they come in for further evaluation.  Our proposed navigator, whose function is based on successful institutional models here and elsewhere, will contact these patients, meet them when they arrive and ensure they follow up with their treatment.  They will make appointments in surgical clinic, arrange for diagnostic testing and follow up medical treatment as needed and assist the patient in applying for financial assistance to permit them to obtain their health care.  They will become the one constant in the patients’ health care experience.  The navigator will be bilingual in English and Spanish and will be a resource for all of the women with abnormal mammograms and the ones who are diagnosed with breast cancer.

UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School/University Hospital Center - Essex County
Cancer deaths for African-American women in greater Newark are 37.8 per 100,000, significantly higher than cancer deaths for white women, and more than double the State’s Healthy New Jersey goal of 17 per 100,000.  Among the reasons for this are fear of the healthcare system, fear of mammograms, lack of insurance, lower screening rates, cultural barriers and poor access to primary and specialty medical care.  There are approximately 20,000 women who could benefit from a program that provides screening mammograms, clinical breast exams and education in user-friendly settings, at convenient times, while eliminating one of the principle barriers to care lack of transportation.  UMDNJ seeks to continue our relationship with the North Jersey Affiliate to support a mobile mammography vehicle equipped with digital mammography, a superior mode of capturing and analyzing screening results.  The van will enable us to serve both women who lack insurance (through our S.A.V.E program) and insured women through on-site services at large area employers.

UMDNJ New Jersey Medical School - Essex County
The Sister-to-Sister Navigator Program is a breast cancer outreach and patient navigation program benefiting underserved African-American women in Newark. Funding awarded from this grant helps to support a breast health navigator to educate and empower women to navigate the health care system and help them to overcome financial, communication, medical system and emotional/fear barriers in obtaining breast cancer screening, diagnostic, treatment, and follow-up services. The breast health navigator outreaches to over 1000 African-American women per year in the “trenches” of Newark, recruits 20 peer volunteers per year to enhance outreach activities, and provides navigation services to over 75 women per year with suspicious mammograms to ensure compliance with diagnostic and treatment services. The long-term goals of this program are to increase the percentage of women with breast cancers diagnosed at early stage at UMDNJ-University Hospital, increase survival, and decrease mortality, thereby reducing the disparity in the cancer burden suffered by African-American women of Newark.  In addition, this program seeks to demystify and humanize the support opportunities available to the African American women of Newark.

CRAFT Grants

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, The Frederick B. Cohen, MD, Comprehensive Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Essex County

Moving Forward

The Frederick B. Cohen, MD, Comprehensive Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC) is Newark’s busiest cancer center.  Moving Forward, a Clinical Research Affiliate Funding Trial (CRAFT) Grant, is a program to educate and enroll minority and medically underserved patients in clinical trials for breast cancer.  A clinical trial nurse, working with the medical director, will continue to educate minority women about clinical trial participation for breast cancer, screen participants, enroll those who are eligible, and follow them through their participation in the clinical trial.  In addition, the approach to clinical trials has been revised to ensure women are advised at the earliest possible opportunity about clinical trials and screened for eligibility.

UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School/University Hospital Cancer Center - Essex County

Use and Evaluation of an Ethnically-Matched Patient Navigator to Increase Minority Patient Recruitment to Breast Cancer Clinical Trials

UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School/University Cancer Center has implemented a program to increase minority patient participation in NCI-approved breast cancer prevention/control and treatment clinical trials. The Cancer Center serves a primarily indigent minority patient population from Newark and its surrounding municipalities.  The program approached the challenges of recruiting minority patients into breast cancer clinical trials through a multi-pronged approach. A multilingual patient navigator was hired to educate patients about clinical trials, dispel misperceptions, inspire trust and act as a liaison with health care givers and clinical researchers. The navigator introduced the concept of clinical trials to every patient diagnosed with breast cancer in surgical clinic and guided them to their appointments in Medical and Radiation Oncology.  IMPACT NJ has developed educational materials for training the navigator to educate patients about clinical trials in a culturally sensitive manner. In collaboration with an expert in cultural competency and quantitative evaluation methodologies, the success of this approach is being evaluated. A culturally sensitive patient to patient DVD was produced informing patients of clinical trials and dispelling some prevailing myths. In addition, breast cancer clinical trials have been opened such that an appropriate trial is available for patients with all stages and types of breast cancer.

 

 
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