Staten Island, N.Y. – For over 15 years, Rab’s Country Lanes has been committed to striking out breast cancer as a partner of Staten Island University Hospital. In that time, they have raised over $560,000, benefitting local breast health projects including the Florina Rusi-Marke Comprehensive Breast Center at Staten Island University Hospital and the Making Strides Campaign of the American Cancer Society. This Staten Island grown business has continued to elevate its community efforts by establishing the Rab Wilkinson Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening and improving the quality of life in our community now and for future generations.
In conjunction with these efforts, Staten Island University Hospital is pleased to announce it has received a $100,000 grant from the Rab Wilkinson Foundation. These funds will support the Breast Health Navigation Program (BHNP), which works to reduce breast cancer mortality rates and addresses some of the most pressing breast health needs on Staten Island.
Now in its third year of operation, the BHNP works to improve access to breast screenings (mammograms), treatment, and care, in high-risk areas of Staten Island’s North Shore – one of the borough’s most medically underserved areas. The program focuses its activities on reaching vulnerable populations that suffer from late stage diagnosis and disproportionately high breast cancer mortality rates, through outreach and educational events. These efforts raise awareness of breast health and early detection, while successfully providing access to free screening.
Each patient is supported by a bilingual Breast Health Outreach Navigator (Navigator) throughout the entire continuum of care, addressing the many barriers often experienced throughout the process. These barriers include financial distresses, logistical concerns (such as booking appointments, finding transportation, or securing child care), and other issues that complicate attending to one’s health. The Navigator provides much-needed support to each patient while providing: direct links to care, financial assistance, counseling, help navigating the complex healthcare landscape, and appointment reminders and follow-up.
“Staten Island has the highest Breast Cancer mortality rates in all the five boroughs,” says Susana Abreu, Staten Island University Hospital’s Breast Health Outreach Navigator. “[Our] goal is to decrease breast cancer morbidity and mortality rates within these identified high-risk groups.”
In three years, the BHNP has educated more than 6,000 people on breast health awareness, screened 731 women, and diagnosed 8 breast cancers – including 4 in this year alone.
In continuation with the program’s efforts, The Mount Sinai Mobile Mammography Van –supported with funds from the State of New York – will be appearing on October 14th at Rab’s Country Lanes (1600 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10305) from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. This event will serve to provide breast cancer screening services for women age 40 and above who have not had a mammogram in the past year and show no signs or symptoms of the disease. Insured, underinsured, or uninsured are all welcome! To pre-register, please contact Brittney Henry at 212-824-7081.
Staten Island University Hospital is proud to continue its partnership with Rab’s Country Lanes and the Rab Wilkinson Foundation. With their support and investment, the Breast Health Navigation Program at Staten Island University Hospital will empower women in our community and provide access to life-saving care.