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Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center receives $25,000 grant from Connecticut Breast Health Initiative

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fairfield, CT – Women in Bridgeport and surrounding communities will have increased access to breast health services from the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center thanks to a grant from the Connecticut Breast Health Initiative (CT BHI).

The CT BHI grant of $25,000 will support the center’s Pathways to Screening program, which provides outreach to women experiencing barriers to healthcare and a patient-centered, community-to-clinic navigation process.

The aim of the program is to increase the number of medically underserved women who receive breast cancer screening in Greater Bridgeport, which has high incidence and high mortality rates. Navigating women through all aspects of screening, diagnosis and treatment, including financial and life challenges, increases the likelihood that women will receive the services they need to stay healthy.

The program also overcomes some of the persistent barriers to navigation by keeping women at one center throughout the screening and diagnostic process, removing delays to treatment that often occur when transferring patients and records between healthcare centers.

The breast care center will be one of the first community centers in the state with a patient navigator helping women even before they come in for an appointment. “Our low income patients have a lot to overcome to get to their appointments,” says Donna Twist, executive director of the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center. “The patient navigator will help women overcome barriers to screening, such as transportation or personal issues that might prevent them from coming to their doctor’s appointment.”

The grant-funded study will compare rates of compliance between women who come through the Pathways to Screening program versus those without the same level of navigation.

“We want women to get help navigating the complexities of the healthcare system,” says Twist. “Patient navigators help them access all aspects of care, including assistance for non-medical issues that can prevent a woman from getting the help she needs. CT BHI’s support means we can remove barriers that prevent women getting the services so important to the early detection of breast cancer.”

CT BHI’s mission is to make a difference locally in the fight against breast cancer through education and research. CT BHI funds forward thinking programs that have yet to qualify for federal grants. The initiative’s long-term goal is to find a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime.

Part of Bridgeport Hospital and 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. A member of the prestigious National Consortium of Breast Care Centers, 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 also has a satellite office at 5520 Park Avenue in Trumbull.

For more information call 203.255.5300 or visit online.