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Breast Care Center receives $26,344 grant from the Shenango Valley Foundation


Michalene (Mickey) Gula, RN, BSN, shared details of the BEGIN program with Larry Haynes, executive director of the Shenango Valley Foundation, center, and George C. Garrow, M.D., medical director of Sharon Regional’s Cancer Care Center

The Breast Care Center of Sharon Regional recently received a $26,344 grant from the Shenango Valley Foundation to initiate BEGIN: An Integrated Recovery Program for Breast Cancer Patients. The BEGIN program consists of six weekly one-hour sessions consisting of several major components, including nutrition and symptom management information; group support; twice a week yoga sessions; and recommendations/access to additional community resources.

“Patients who are undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment for breast cancer often experience side effects such as fatigue, hair loss, lack of appetite, altered body image or menopausal symptoms,” says Michalene (Mickey) Gula, RN, BSN, director of The Women’s Center and BEGIN Project Manager.

“Breast cancer patients are confronted by a multitude of life-changing experiences,” adds George Garrow, M.D., oncologist and medical director of Sharon Regional’s Cancer Care Center. We certainly hope this comprehensive program will improve the well-being of participants, and especially empower them with knowledge that supports their decision-making and improves their outlook as they progress from being a breast cancer patient to becoming a breast cancer survivor.”

U.S. Department of Health data shows that one woman in eight will be diagnosed with breast cancer and that 40,000 die as a result each year.

Sharon Regional, through its new Diagnostic & Imaging Center, 2435 Garden Way, Hermitage, offers a comprehensive Breast Care Center. The Center provides diagnostic services, including digital mammography, breast MRI, breast ultrasound, and stereotactic and ultrasound breast biopsy.

The Center also provides same-day results for mammography, referral for breast surgery, referral for cancer treatment and offers group support and wellness components. Dedicated breast surgeons and radiologists specializing in breast imaging are also based at the Center.

BEGIN will complement treatment plans offered at Sharon Regional’s Cancer Care Center, 2320 Highland Rd., Hermitage, as well as those offered at various other medical institutions both within and outside the Shenango Valley.

BEGIN is carefully structured as an integrated recovery program whether breast cancer patients are in the immediate stages following their treatment protocol or just recently diagnosed. The major components of BEGIN are integrated so that the participant receives necessary information, has a chance to interact with staff and other participants, and ends with a one-hour yoga session to help patients relieve stress and improve the ability to cope with the disease process.

A second one-hour yoga session is conducted on another day during the same week. The sessions are structured to accommodate the particular group’s needs as well as the individual patient’s needs relative to their own stage within the breast cancer disease process.

For more information on BEGIN, please call 724-983-3944 or e-mail [email protected] .


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