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CHEFA Awards Grant to Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness to Increase Screening

By Lisa Seaberg on 4/2/2013

DERBY, CT (April 2, 2013) - The Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) officially awarded a $74,480 grant to Griffin Hospital in Derby to help uninsured and underinsured women in the Greater Valley area receive breast cancer screenings.

The grant will enable The Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital to provide approximately 150 free mammograms to women who have no health insurance or have insurance with a high co-pay or deductable for breast cancer screening services. The grant will also cover any additional testing if something is found in the mammogram results. In addition, the grant will fund a Nurse Educator for Griffin Hospital’s Community Outreach and Valley Parish Nurses Program to raise breast cancer awareness and provide breast screening education for women in the Greater Valley community.

“This grant will go a long way in ensuring that women in the Greater Valley community receive vital breast cancer tests regardless of their ability to pay,” said Griffin Hospital President and CEO Patrick Charmel. “Several towns and cities in the surrounding area have unemployment rates that are higher than the state and national average, forcing many families to choose between health insurance, or basic needs such as food and housing.”

The need for breast cancer screening funding recently became more critical with the possible elimination of the Connecticut Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection (CBCCEDP) program, which covers approximately 100 free mammogram at The Hewitt Center each year.

“We are very proud of our long term relationship with Griffin Hospital. This breast cancer screening program is further evidence of the Hospital’s patient-centered approach to every aspect of the care they provide and their commitment to providing patients with high quality service,” said CHEFA Executive Director Jeffrey A. Asher.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is diagnosed in women more than any other cancer, aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in Connecticut women. The relative survival rate is much higher when the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, before the disease has had a chance to progress.

The Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness has been very active in seeking grants to provide free breast cancer screening and education. In recent months, the Center secured grants from Susan G. Komen for the Cure in Connecticut, The Hewitt Foundation and CT Community Foundation to provide more than 250 free breast cancer imaging or screening services to women in the Valley.

“We are very thankful to CHEFA for this grant,” Charmel said. “Part of Griffin Hospital’s mission is to empower individuals to be actively involved in decisions affecting their care and well-being through access to information and education; and to provide leadership to improve the health of the community it serves. This grant helps us greatly in achieving that goal and in bringing high-quality and compassionate care to the Greater Valley area.”

Located at 350 Seymour Ave. in Derby, The Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital combines state-of-the-art technology, a team of highly trained physicians and staff and a healing environment to offer patients a comprehensive range of personalized breast care and wellness services. The Center provides state-of-the-art technology, expert breast surgeons, breast health navigators, genetic counseling, and a full continuum of care for patients that can be provided, in many cases, in that same day. For more information, call 203.732.1300 or visit griffinhealth.org/cbw.

The Valley Parish Nurse Program (Parish means “community”) was established at Griffin Hospital in 1990 and is the largest program of its type in the area, providing free health screenings, links to healthcare, wellness and safety programs, and supportive services to community members throughout the Valley. It is an integral part of Griffin’s Community Outreach Department and draws on a force of 75 parish nurses and countless dedicated volunteers who work in the surrounding neighborhoods, identifying problems and linking adults and children with the resources that can best help them. The nurses are an important part of Griffin Hospital’s mission to “provide leadership to improve the health of the community it serves.” For more information, call 203.732.7584 or visit griffinhealth.org.

Griffin Hospital CEO Patrick Charmel, center, receives a $74,480 grant from Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) Executive Director Jeffrey A. Asher, left, and CHEFA Legislative Liaison/ECE Program Specialist David Wasch. Also pictured are Griffin Hospital Breast wellness outreach coordinator Cary Carpino, left, and Griffin Hospital Director of Radiology Christine Cooper, MS, CNMT.

Photo caption: Griffin Hospital CEO Patrick Charmel, center, receives a $74,480 grant from Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) Executive Director Jeffrey A. Asher, left, and CHEFA Legislative Liaison/ECE Program Specialist David Wasch. Also pictured are Griffin Hospital Breast wellness outreach coordinator Cary Carpino, left, and Griffin Hospital Director of Radiology Christine Cooper, MS, CNMT.

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