NEW BRITAIN – The Connecticut Breast Health Initiative was recognized as a standout contributor to UConn Health a few weeks ago when it was given a place on its Donor Wall.
Organizations and individuals are given a space on the wall, which was built in 2016, when they’ve donated $100,000 or more to the branch of the University of Connecticut in their lifetime. According to Abbie O’Brien, senior director of development in UConn Health’s Health Sciences Department, CT BHI has far exceeded this amount and has given more than $1.3 to UConn Health since June 2006. O’Brien said this money went to support the clinical and mental health needs of the center’s breast cancer patients, including a few grants from last year.
“We don’t necessarily look for the recognition; it’s just what we’re about. And that’s what we’re supposed to do, that’s our mission,” CT BHI President Joyce Bray said. “It’s the work of the researchers that’s the important part.”
In 2017 the CT BHI awarded two community education grants to UConn Health’s Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center – Nancy Baccaro received a grant for her “A Brand New You” initiative and Christina Stevenson from the center received a grant for her “Hair Collaboration to Improve Breast Health” initiative.
The CT BHI also gave a clinical research grant for the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center’s DigniCap Cold Cap treatment option. Another research grant was given to University of Connecticut Health Center’s Xiaoyan Wang for the center’s multi-factorial approach to improve breast cancer survivorship symptom care.
“We work really, really hard to raise the amount of money that we’ve raised, and I think we’ve been very careful, strategic and hopeful that how we choose to give our money is appropriate and there are results,” Bray said.
One of the focus’s of CT BHI is keeping the money it raises in Connecticut. With more than $3.6 million awarded to researchers and educators in the state since 2005, UConn Health is just one of many of the organization’s beneficiaries. Still, UConn Health appreciates every penny they’ve received.
Dr. Christina Stevenson and Dr. Susan Tannenbaum, leaders of the breast program at UConn Health’s Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, said they appreciate the support CT BHI has given them and their center.
“We have felt supported not only financially but in spirit by the Connecticut Breast Health Initiative to make a difference in the lives of breast cancer patients. We deeply respect their commitment to patients, families and friends affected by this disease,” Stevenson and Tannenbaum said. “We will continue to work collaboratively with them to provide educational services to assist in early detection, supportive care and survivorship issues. We support this amazing Connecticut philanthropic organization and will walk or run with them at the annual Race in the Park to show them that we are with them and all they stand for.”
This year’s renewal of the Race in the Park is scheduled for Saturday, May 12. The organization’s flagship event draws runners from all over the country to Walnut Hill Park on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. This year is the 15th anniversary of the first Race in the Park and organizers are expecting more than 4,000 participants.
Tickets for CT BHI’s Race in the Park are $30 for adults or $15 for children. People can register as individuals or as a team. To register for the event, follow the link on www.ctbhi.org .
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.