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October 27, 2023                                                                                                         media@uhnj.org (973) 634-8298


The Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation and The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Support UH To Address Breast Cancer Disparities in Newark

NEWARK, NJ — University Hospital (UH) will expand its broad community health offerings through a state-of-the-art mobile mammography bus. The $1.2 million unit will deliver critical preventative healthcare services to women throughout Essex County where the rates of late-stage breast cancer diagnoses is among the highest in the state. The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey recently awarded a $400,000 grant for the project, coming alongside the Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation who committed the initial $500,000 investment last year.

“Unfortunately, 30% of University Hospital’s breast cancer cases are diagnosed in advanced stages, when it’s more difficult to treat,” said Ed Jimenez, President, and CEO of University Hospital. “The new mammography bus, with 3D mammography, will allow us to reach approximately 4,000 underserved women each year. We know this program will save more lives once it hits the streets.”

The new bus will replace an aging one that has been serving the community for over 15 years. Equipped with high-tech breast imaging equipment and a private examination room, the van will deploy an expert team of clinicians and navigators to encourage new patients to seek additional services. “Thousands of Newark residents don’t get screened because of inadequate insurance, lack of transportation, childcare challenges. Our job is to bring breast cancer screening right to their doorstep.” says Katrina Schirmacher, executive director of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey at University Hospital. By reaching thousands of vulnerable residents directly, the program will increase access to critical preventative care, ultimately minimizing the incidence of late-stage diagnoses in the region.

Latest figures by the American Cancer Society show the stark contrast between “localized disease” which has a 99% survival rate and the 24% survival rate of late-stage “distant disease.”

Since the program’s inception in 1996, University Hospital and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School have screened more than 27,500 medically underserved women. Following a two-year hiatus in mobile services and community programming due the pandemic, this latest investment will enable UH to reach more patients at a time where the need is great. Serving the community both inside and outside of its campus walls, the UH’s commitment to community health rests on the generous support of key partners.

“The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey has been a proud partner and supporter of University Hospital for decades,” noted Michael Schmidt, CEO/Executive Director of The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey. Our most recent grant for a mobile breast cancer screening unit provides critical assessments and health counseling directly to women in the Newark community —regardless of income level or access to transportation—so that they can receive life-saving care. We know that early detection literally saves lives and are pleased to partner with University Hospital on this important endeavor.”

“We’re elated that The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey provided this generous grant to University Hospital to advance breast health across its community. This donation ensures that by early 2024, a state-of-the-art mobile screening unit will deliver critical breast cancer screenings to women who often get diagnosed too late.  By working together, we will empower communities and embody the spirit of proactive screenings, leaving an indelible mark on the fight against breast cancer.” expresses Connie Dwyer, Founder of the Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation.


About University Hospital

University Hospital is one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers and is the only New Jersey certified Level 1 Trauma Center for Northern New Jersey. University Hospital is the principal teaching affiliate of the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.  Together Rutgers and UH focus on taking exceptional care of patients, training the next generation, and advancing science to discovery. The hospital is located in University Heights along with the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Center which includes Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers New Jersey Dental School, and Rutgers School of Nursing. For more information about University Hospital, please visit www.uhnj.org.

About the University Hospital Foundation

The University Hospital Foundation was formed in 2015 to accelerate University Hospital’s vision to improve the health of  our vulnerable community for generations to come and has raised more than $7.2 million dollars in that time. The  Foundation raises critical funds for the hospital’s life-changing programs.

The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey

The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey is an independent, endowed grant-making organization dedicated to reducing disparities in the delivery of healthcare and improving access to quality healthcare for vulnerable populations in the greater Newark, NJ area and the Jewish community of Greater MetroWest NJ.

About the Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation

Through sponsored facilities and a grants program, the Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation serves underprivileged  and vulnerable women by ensuring the availability of top-quality breast-health services that include screening, diagnosis,  treatment, and follow-up care. In addition, CDBCF provides financial support for programs that provide resources,  education, advocacy, and empowerment for the women we serve. www.cdbcf.org

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