The Ellen Hermanson Foundation is dedicated to keeping fundraising dollars on the East End.
The not-for-profit awarded $326,000 to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital in 2019, including a $251,000 grant presented December 17. The funding benefits the Ellen Hermanson Breast Center; Ellen’s Well, a program that provides psychosocial support to breast and gynecological cancer survivors; and the Pink Shawl Project, an outreach program providing screenings and education at the Shinnecock Indian Health Clinic.
“When we started Ellen’s Run in 1996 we decided to always keep the money we raise on the East End, where the incidence of breast cancer is among the highest in New York state and the need of the underserved community is great,” said The Ellen Hermanson Foundation co-founder and chairwoman Julie Ratner. “The funds we have raised provide advanced technology and equipment and a comprehensive range of free direct services that make a real impact on the lives of women and families in our community. In keeping with the foundation’s core value — that access to health care is a human right — no one is turned away from The Ellen Hermanson Breast Center due to inability to pay.”
The not-for-profit funded breast cancer screenings for uninsured women, a full-time oncological social worker to provide free group and individual therapy through Ellen’s Well, a three-day renewal and hope retreat, transportation assistance, reiki therapy, and boxing. Funds are also being used to purchase a second Siemen’s ACUSON Sequoia ultrasound system, which enables high-resolution imaging that adapts to patients’ size and personal characteristics, contributing to a more confident diagnosis.
Last year The Ellen Hermanson Breast Center performed over 12,000 screenings, including 3500 ultrasounds.
“With new recommendations for ultrasound for patients with dense breasts, the breast center is struggling to give patients timely access to breast ultrasound with its current single unit,” Ratner said. “Installing a second ultrasound system would increase access to care and reduce wait times.”
Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s chief administrative officer Bob Chaloner said he is grateful beyond words for the longstanding partnership with The Ellen Hermanson Foundation, now in its 25th year of service.
“Over the years, generous grants from the foundation have made it possible for us to acquire state-of-the art equipment and provide vital and compassionate support services for breast cancer patients and their families,” Chaloner said. “As a result of this collaboration, The Ellen Hermanson Breast Center at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital stands as a tribute to one woman’s courageous battle memorialized by her inspirational sisters.”