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Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives: Breast Cancer

In support of Norma Pfriem Breast Center's screening program and it's work to reach individuals who need access to healthcare services regardless of language, cultural, financial and other barriers, the Center launched an initiative to increase participation among underserved and minority populations at Bridgeport Hospital over a two-year period.

Barriers to Care

  • Cultural barriers such as perceptions, experiences and knowledge about breast cancer
  • Gender issues
  • Language barriers
  • Transportation


Norma Pfriem Breast Center's diverse team worked within the community to gain patient trust and encourage individuals to attend support services. Throughout this process, attendees were reassured that the group, provided free of charge, promoted a safe, confidential and supportive environment for healing.

Patient navigators offered:

  • Stratus, a live translation program for non-English speaking patients
  • Taxi vouchers for those without transportation
  • Incentives such as gift cards, made possible through grant funds
  • Active participation in the selection of guest speakers


Over the two-year period, attendance more than doubled, from 60 to 148 women. The success of this group also resulted in participants attending other community support groups because of their positive experience with Norma Pfriem Breast Center.

About the Norma Pfreim Breast Center

The Norma Pfriem Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital provides a comprehensive network of services including patient care, support and education and outreach. Funding and grant programs help make it possible to provide quality care to all patients, regardless of ability to pay. These programs have made a significant impact on patient care, with over 30,000 women and families receiving services and over 15,000 women in need receiving financial assistance through our medically underserved program. In addition, over 2,500 girls in local schools and 10,000 women and families receive education about breast health and risk of breast cancer annually.

Learn more about the Norma Pfriem Breast Center and available support services