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Montefiore in the News

November 20, 2014

Breast Cancer Survivors Provide Companionship for Those Newly Diagnosed  

NEW YORK (November 20, 2014) – Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care and the NCI-designated Albert Einstein Cancer Center today announced receipt of a $100,000 grant from the Avon Foundation to support the Bronx Oncology Living Daily (B.O.L.D.) Buddy Patient Navigation Program. The program helps underserved breast cancer patients throughout the Bronx and New York City adhere to and complete their breast cancer treatment.

“There are a lot of people going through cancer treatment who are on their own and who are private about their fears and concerns,” said Alyson Moadel-Robblee, Ph.D., director, Psychosocial Oncology Program, Albert Einstein Cancer Center and Montefiore and Associate Professor of Clinical Epidemiology & Population Health and of Clinical Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “Once the women in our B.O.L.D. Buddy program begin to meet others with similar experiences, they realize we are all in this together and they become more empowered in their cancer care. We feel extremely fortunate to receive this grant from the Avon Foundation to continue to provide this essential support.”

The B.O.L.D. program, which provides support to patients at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care, was developed based on the results of a psychosocial needs assessment that found that 53% of 1,012 patients with cancer who were polled had clinically-significant levels of distress, and up to 40% of patients were having challenges adhering to their cancer treatment regimens and medical appointments. The grant will fund the B.O.L.D. Buddy Navigation Program, which features treatment companions, many who are cancer survivors, who act as a supportive presence by attending doctor appointments with patients, keeping patients company during chemotherapy and communicating by phone as needed. B.O.L.D. also includes wellness workshop programs and other clinical and peer support, helping more than 700 patients each year navigate the overwhelming psychological, financial and emotional effects of cancer and its treatment.

“I know from personal experience that the cancer journey isn’t easy – it is very difficult,” said B.O.L.D. Buddy Sonia Chevannes. “Making a phone call or accompanying someone to a doctor’s appointment can make a big difference to a lot of people.”

The grant was presented at The Avon Walk New York, which attracted nearly 3,000 participants from the United States as well as Bermuda, Brazil, Canada and the United Kingdom. Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care was one of 11 New York organizations that received grants to benefit the local community.

Montefiore’s Breast Cancer Program treats approximately 800 patients with a breast cancer diagnosis each year, all whom have access to the B.O.L.D. services. In June, the National Consortium of Breast Centers recognized B.O.L.D as a certified participant in its National Quality Measures for Breast Centers Program. In 2013 it was accredited by the National Accreditation of Breast Centers.

For more information about B.O.L.D., visit