The OSF St. Joseph Foundation recently received a $10,000 Public Awareness Grant on behalf of the Plastic Surgery Foundation. Sixteen nonprofit organizations across the country received the grant to help raise awareness on breast reconstruction after cancer surgery.
The Breast Reconstruction Surgery Public Awareness Grants are awarded to nonprofits who exhibit a genuine commitment to the development and implementation of projects and programs for the purpose of raising awareness of breast cancer reconstruction surgery options in the community.
“This year’s recipients have displayed exceptional dedication to women who have experienced breast cancer by bringing awareness to their breast reconstruction options. Working with physicians to determine the most appropriate option is part of the breast cancer continuum of care we are advocating,” noted Kevin Chung, MD, President of The Plastic Surgery Foundation.
OSF St. Joseph Medical Center is invested in educating women on their options after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis. Only 23 percent of women know of the wide range of reconstruction options available to them after a mastectomy.
OSF St. Joseph is implementing several programs with the grant money to help raise awareness and educate women. Breast Reconstruction Awareness (B.R.A.) Ambassadors will be attending various events to share their personal stories and serve as mentors for other women. “People need to know that there is a life after breast cancer, and reconstruction surgery is part of that,” says Katie Bertsche, breast cancer survivor and B.R.A. Ambassador. “We educate ourselves on so many other things, why would you not want to know what your options are?”
Additionally, OSF St. Joseph will be hosting a free event consisting of a panelist discussion covering the topics of breast cancer risk factors, imaging technology, and breast surgery and reconstruction options. On Thursday, November 13 at 5:30 p.m., the Center for Healthy Lifestyles at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center (Entrance D) will host “Innovations in Breast Care: Changing the Way We Fight Breast Cancer” to educate the public on how the OSF Care Team collaborates to make the best outcomes possible after a breast cancer diagnosis. Biaggi’s is catering this event with delicious hors d'oeuvres and wine. The panelist discussion will include speakers Tian Austin, MD, Breast Imaging Radiologist; Katherine Widerborg, MD, Surgeon; and Paige Holt, MD, Plastic Surgeon. Please call (309) 661-5151 or visit osfstjoseph.org/calendar to register for this event. Media is welcome to attend. Panelists and B.R.A. Ambassadors will be available after the event for interviews.