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Norma Pfriem Breast Care Center receives $120,000 for Psychiatric Services

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fairfield , CT — A grant of $120,000 from Cindy and Robert Citrone will help individuals with a cancer diagnosis receive psychosocial services in Fairfield County.  The grant will help underwrite psychiatric services at the Norma F. Pfreim Breast Care Center in Fairfield.  Patients will have access to services regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.

Individuals with cancer experience emotional side effects that can slow their recovery and make treatment difficult.  These include stress, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, all of which can diminish an individual’s quality of life.

While cancer patients and survivors can benefit from a range of psychological interventions, patients can experience significant barriers to accessing these services:  inadequate reimbursement for mental health services, lack of awareness of community resources, and inadequate psychosocial screening and assessment.

“The grant from the Citrones will help patients overcome barriers to mental health care by making it available to all patients, regardless of their insurance status,” says Dr. Donna Twist, Executive Director of the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center.  “Our in-house psychiatrist is one of the only in Fairfield County who serves patients without private insurance.  Financial assistance is available for the uninsured.  She works closely with doctors and oncologists in our facility, serving men and women with all types of cancers.  In addition, because of a lack of psychiatrists in the area, she fulfills a gap in services for medication management.”

The Citrones’ generous gift also means convenient access to screening and assessment for mental health services, the first step to gaining access to treatment.

Cindy Citrone and her husband Rob, a hedge fund manager, are active in cancer charities and have a passion for giving.  “Rob and I feel it’s so important to support the work of the Breast Care Center and help women and men improve their quality of life as they battle cancer,” she says.

Part of Bridgeport Hospital and the Yale New Haven Health System, the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center has served more than 20,000 women and their families since it was established in 1999.  One of only 200 sites accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), the Center provides a wide range of diagnostic care and treatment at its Bridgeport Hospital and Fairfield locations, including medical oncology, surgical and chemotherapy services, plastic surgery, mammography and radiation therapy, and genetic risk assessment as well as opportunities to participate in clinical trials.  The Breast Care Center office at 111 Beach Road in Fairfield also provides comprehensive women’s wellness services, including nutrition counseling, massage and Reiki therapy, wig and prosthesis fitting, counseling, yoga, Pilates, naturopathic medicine, and other patient support activities.  The Center has a satellite office on Park Avenue in Trumbull.  The Center is a member of the prestigious National Consortium of Breast Care Centers.  For more information call 203.255.5300 or visit the Center on the web.

Bridgeport Hospital, part of Yale New Haven Health, is a non-profit 501-bed acute care hospital with two campuses (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale New Haven Children's Hospital). Its Bridgeport and Milford Campuses serve patients from across the region. The hospital admits more than 23,000 patients and provides nearly 350,000 outpatient treatments annually. The Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital is the only burn center in the state and one of only 64 verified burn centers in the United States. Bridgeport Hospital is committed to providing safe, compassionate and cost efficient care to its patients and the community.