The Beth C. Tortolani Foundation is proud to have awarded grants to the following programs in 2015


Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center - “Strength To Strength” Cancer Wellness Program is a customized fitness program geared to the special needs of women recovering from breast cancer treatment as well as their caregivers. The program targets women who are in breast cancer treatment, near completion of treatment or have completed treatment and are looking to reduce fatigue and restore strength, flexibility and positive body image. Conducted by a certified fitness instructor and a licensed clinical social worker, it is offered free of charge at the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center. The program has expanded to include zumba, yoga, knitting and crocheting for cancer survivors, lymphedema management class, and a day-long retreat for living well with cancer and beyond.

Program Director: Randy Hight

St. Barnabas Hospital - The “Mobile Mammography Program” provides breast health education, screening, treatment and following services to women in the Bronx regardless of their ability to pay or qualify for insurance. All services, including printed materials, are delivered in English and Spanish. The program also provides patient navigation, helping to make diagnosis and treatment services available to women who are confused, intimated or frightened by heath care providers. Program Director: Patricia Belair

Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program - This program provides support services to underserved minority women diagnosed with breast cancer at Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC). The services include bilingual crisis intervention, counseling, advocacy, patient navigation and concrete services for every newly diagnosed patient at NUMC and their families and ongoing in-person and phone counseling. A social worker will make referrals for assistance with needs as identified and will work with community programs to provide these services. Services are made available regardless of ability to pay and also provides no and low cost mammography through the NYS Cancer Services Program of Nassau County.

Program Director: Hillary Rutter

Necessities, Inc. - The “Necessities Bag” is a reusable tote bag designed for the mastectomy patient providing information and supplies to prepare for surgery and aid in recovery. Bags are provided free of charge through physicians’ offices and include a folder to organize surgeon and hospital information, memo pad and pen, water bottle, lip balm, emery board, pocket pack of tissues, roll of Life Savers for dry mouth, 10 large cushioned bandages, 10 all-purpose bandages, gentle paper tape, Bacitracin antibiotic ointment, ribbon to secure surgical drains when showering, “Woman To Woman Guide To Prepare For Mastectomy”, hand-made cushioning pillows to place under arm and chest, and a package of sleeveless cotton undershirts. 

Program Directors: Maureen Lutz, Fran Mendelowitz

Lean On Me - One-to-one emotional support is offered to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients from diagnosis through treatment and recovery in the privacy of their physician’s office. The program provides educational lectures, panel presentations, wellness seminars, group support sessions, a resource library and a website. Volunteers, who are breast cancer survivors, are trained for this program to offer a shoulder to lean on and a hand to hold during this difficult time. Each patient in this program will receive a “Necessities Bag” and is informed about the availability of receiving free wigs and post mastectomy bras.

Program Director: Donna DeRisi

SHARE - “Young Women And Breast Cancer” offers support services, educational programming and networking opportunities to young women diagnosed with breast cancer. Key services include a teleconference support group aimed at women under 50 years of age, webinars on topics such as intimacy and sexuality, and networking events that allow women to connect in a lighthearted, festive way. 

Program Director: Christine Benjamin

Support Connection - “Customized Care Services for Breast Cancer Survivors” provides emotional, social and educational support services to women, their families and friends by phone, e-mail and one-on- one counseling from diagnosis, treatment, recovery and beyond. All requests for support for information are answered by someone who is a breast cancer survivor herself. The customized information packets are free of charge and designed to meet the needs of each individual caller. Although the primary service area is Westchester, Putnam and surrounding Counties, through the toll- free hotline and website, they are able to reach people in many other areas. 

Program Director: Katherine Quinn

Cancer Support Team - This organization provides educational services and support to breast cancer patients and their families who reside in lower Westchester County. Home visits are conducted and direct nursing care is provided to the patient including blood pressure and weight monitoring, checking surgical wounds and helping with nausea and fatigue. “Chemo Comfort” kits are given to patients to educate on ways to manage the side effects of chemotherapy. Patients and family members are educated about the breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Resources are offered to assist with pain issues and symptom control, nutritional counseling and monitoring the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Volunteers drive patients to chemotherapy or radiation appointments as well as provide personal visits to patients. 

Program Director: Gina A. Russo