December 4, 2006
Contact: Larry Parker
Phone: (973) 972-7265
Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Awards $250,000 to UMDNJ
NEWARK — The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, held in October in New York, raised $9.7 million for treatment and research - and through the Avon Foundation, has awarded $250,000 of that total to assist underserved women at the New Jersey Medical School-University Hospital (NJMS-UH) Cancer Center, part of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ).
Dr. Lawrence Harrison, an oncology surgeon and associate director of the new NJMS-UH Cancer Center, accepted the award from Dr. Marc Hurlbert, senior advisor to the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade, during the closing ceremony of the Avon Walk. This was the only grant to a New Jersey research institution from Avon.
“The Avon Foundation is pleased to extend the Avon Safety Net program to UMDNJ, so they can launch the clinical research ‘patient navigator’ program to help minority, uninsured and underserved women in Newark and northern New Jersey navigate the healthcare system,” said Dr. Hurlbert.
Avon’s contribution will be used to fund two patient navigator positions to assist women with breast cancer who have economic, cultural or language barriers to quality health care. Patient navigators are registered nurses or social workers who are trained in explaining medical procedures to patients, and assisting patients with the often overwhelming paperwork for private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. Given the diversity of the Newark and northern New Jersey areas, at least one of the patient navigators to be hired will be fully bilingual in Spanish.
“The initiation of a clinical research patient navigator program will give our patients yet another resource - one that will enable them to focus on their health and getting better,” said Dr. Harrison.
The patient navigator program’s ultimate goal is not only to better treat women with breast cancer from underserved communities, but also to perform more culturally sensitive and comprehensive research on breast cancer that will produce better treatments for future patients.
For more information on the patient navigator program, contact Dr. Harrison at (973) 972-5583. For more information about how to provide further financial support for the program, please contact Martha Bahamon, director of development for the Foundation of UMDNJ, at (973) 972-4831 or at email@example.com. For pictures of Dr. Harrison and Dr. Hurlbert at the Avon Walk closing ceremony, please contact Larry Parker of the University News Service at (973) 972-7265 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UMDNJ is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health, on five campuses. Last year, there were more than two million patient visits to UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network.