The Breast Health Resource Program (BHRP) is dedicated to meeting the emotional and practical needs of women and their families facing the challenges of breast cancer. Through individual and group counseling, we help patients navigate treatment options with the goal of promoting health, wellness and survivorship. We offer information, guidance and therapeutic support by providing services that address the practical, psychological and financial needs that result from breast cancer. As patient advocates and skilled collaborators, we function as vital conduits to care. We develop comprehensive case management plans, identify community resources, and formulate discharge services. We also actively participate in the advancement of evidence-based medicine, ensuring that all patients have the opportunity to learn about and participate in clinical trials.
In 2012, BHRP served over 400 newly diagnosed women and provided over 3,500 consultations to patients, families and the community. BHRP and Dubin social work services are funded through philanthropy and are offered free of charge to patients and their families.
Funding enables us to maintain the vital social work services we currently provide and will support the expansion and development on novel programs for targeted groups in need.
Thanks to our generous supporters, our services are provided at no charge to anyone with a diagnosis of breast cancer, at any stage, from diagnosis to treatment through survivorship.
The scope of our services across the trajectory of breast cancer care includes:
Initial Diagnosis and Treatment Phase
• Primary assessment of the patient and their ability to cope with their diagnosis/illness. This must include the family’s/caregivers’ coping ability resources.
• Provides individual and group support for patients and their families, addressing the psychological, lifestyle and social aspects of breast cancer.
• Addresses the practical challenges, financial stressors, prescription drug coverage, transportation to and from medical care, etc.
• Facilitates the patient and family’s adjustment to the patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan.
• Helps and empowers patients/families to communicate with their children.
• Initiates discussion with patient and partners about body image, sexuality and sexual functioning, intimacy, fertility, survivorship.
• Crisis intervention/obtaining emergent psychiatric care/issues of abuse.
Programs for the newly diagnosed include:
• Coping with Breast Cancer Drop-In Support Groups – Education and peer support for patients whether newly diagnosed or facing episodic concerns.
• Young Women Connect – Support for their psychological and medical concerns.
• Latina Support Group – Individual, family and group counseling services for Spanish speaking patients.
• Patient-to-Patient Support Program – Survivor volunteers offer comfort, support and share their personal experiences.
• Lean on Me – Support for caregivers, spouses, family and friends.
• Kids Count Too! – How to communicate with children about breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Ongoing Treatment Phase
• Provides continued individual and group support for patients and their families, addressing the psychological, lifestyle and social aspect of breast cancer.
• Navigates patients throughout their treatment, helps them to understand and consider their treatment options and to cope with the sequelae of treatment.
• Identifies the impact of breast cancer upon significant members of the patient’s social milieu: children, parents, employers/co-workers, friends and community.
• Helps families cope with intense negative emotions - sadness, anger, worry and fear - by offering strategies to deal with feelings of anxiety about the future.
Programs also available during treatment include:
• Crafts & Laughs – Professionally-led creative arts program where patients get peer support.
• Complementary Care – Yoga, Pilates and Reiki.
Survivorship Phase – A New Normal
• Promotes psychosocial recovery and rehabilitation for both patient and family. Beyond adjustment, recovery implies stabilizing—if not improving—psychosocial functioning through therapeutic intervention by mental health professionals and/or peer support groups.
• Deals with concerns about recurrence.
Programs available during Survivorship:
• Breast Care – The Mount Sinai Community Breast Health Education and Screening Program – Breast Care raises awareness about the three-tiered approach to Breast Health: breast self-exam, clinical exams and mammography. Breast Care’s outreach team provides speakers and screening programs in all community and corporate settings. BREAST CARE has delivered 330 programs all over 80 community sites to more than 6,500 women.
• The Healthy Lifestyle Program – Promotes recovery through the practice of healthy nutrition, exercise and stress management. To date, we have provided 350 women with this 10-week program.
• WISH (Women in Search of Health) – Counseling and group support for women at high genetic risk who have tested positive for a BRCA mutation.
• Complementary Care – Yoga, Pilates, Reiki, etc.
• Breast Health Informational Lectures – This public education program presents expert speakers and topics that reflect state of the art progress in breast cancer care, treatment and research.
Recurrence and End of Life Phase
Living with Breast Cancer and chronic disease states – long-term impact upon the patient and
• Helping families make end-of-life care decisions.
• Referrals for help at home, respite and hospice care.
• Bereavement and grief counseling.
Metrics and Evaluation of Programs
• Measures of adjustment include compliance with treatment, mobilization of coping strategies, cognitive processing of the meaning of illness, and reduced feelings of distress and helplessness.
• Variables that measure quality of life are now becoming more prominent in treatment protocols and clinical trials. One of these variables – hope – is a crucial component for successful adaptation to breast cancer. Hope is an essential ingredient for the patient and family to have a satisfactory emotional outcome. By connecting patients, families and caregivers with others who have been through the experience, the social worker can help them to access an important source of hope.
Andrea Geduld, LCSW
Jennifer Kolton, LMSW
Yanette Tactuk, LMSW
Mount Sinai Breast Health Resource Program
16 East 98th Street, Suite 1B
New York, NY 10029
For information or an appointment, call us at: (212) 987-3063
E-mail us: firstname.lastname@example.org