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Smilow Family Breast Health Center

We are here for you

Smilow

If you have a concern about your breast health, it’s important to know that all the resources you need are right here at the Smilow Family Breast Health Center.

From initial evaluation and diagnosis to treatment, follow-up and survivorship, you can count on us to provide timely, efficient and compassionate care every step of the way.

We’ve been accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), you can be assured that we adhere to the highest standards of care for patients with breast disease.

Here’s a closer look at all we offer, conveniently close to home…

When you’re dealing with breast disease, you want to focus on your health, not navigating the healthcare system. That’s why we provide a Breast Health Specialist to serve as your personal navigator to guide you through each phase of your care journey.

Your Breast Health Specialist is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) and Certified Patient Navigator who ensures you have the support and information you need from the moment you turn to us for care. The services she provides include:

  • Clinical evaluation by Breast Health Specialist, APRN
  • One-on-one education about your treatment
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Care coordination with the various specialists on your care team
  • Referrals to appropriate social services
  • Identifying community-based resources and services to fit your needs
  • Help with insurance, including advocacy for financial aid for women without health insurance
  • Someone to turn to whenever you have questions

Contact our Nurse Navigator/Patient Navigator Program. Simply call 203-852-2300.

The Smilow Family Breast Health Center provides convenient access to today’s most advanced diagnostic imaging technology, including:

  • Digital mammography
  • 3-D mammography (also called digital breast tomosynthesis)
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Breast MRI

We also provide image-guided biopsies, when needed.

These breast-imaging services are offered at the Norwalk Hospital Radiology and Mammography Center, which is an American College of Radiology Center of Excellence, and accredited by the ACR.

Contact Breast Imaging

Simply call Norwalk Radiology and Mammography Center at 203-838-4886.

We offer a comprehensive risk assessment program to identify women at increased risk for breast cancer so we can develop an early detection and prevention approach tailored to the individual.

When you have a mammogram performed at Norwalk Hospital, we will perform a risk assessment that includes an evaluation of your family and personal medical history in order to:

  • Estimate your lifetime risk for breast cancer
  • Determine if genetic counseling and/or testing for breast and/or ovarian cancer is appropriate for you

The average woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is about 12%. If it’s determined that you have a 20% or greater lifetime risk for breast cancer:

  • The American Cancer Society recommends that you have an annual breast MRI in addition to a mammogram
  • You may also benefit from a clinical breast exam performed by a healthcare provider every 6 months

Contact the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Program

Simply call 203-852-2300.

Genetic testing is available for anyone with concerns and family history of cancer. A cancer genetics consultation is recommended if you have a personal or family history of any of the following:

  • Breast cancer diagnosed before age 50
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Breast and ovarian cancer in the same individual or the same side of the family
  • Male breast cancer in your family
  • Bilateral breast cancer (cancer in both breasts)
  • Triple negative breast cancer (diagnosed before age 60)
  • Eastern European Jewish ancestry

Contact Genetic Counseling. Simply call 203-852-2300.

As a NAPBC-accredited breast center, the Smilow Family Breast Health Center offers a comprehensive array of today’s most advanced treatment options—so you don’t have to travel far to get thorough, outstanding care that’s tailored to your unique needs.

The treatment options we offer include:

  • Breast surgery: Our surgical team has extensive expertise in all types of biopsies, lymph node evaluation, lumpectomy, mastectomy (including nipple-sparing techniques), and breast reconstruction. Contact Breast Surgery: 203-852-2300
  • Medical oncology: Our specialists are affiliated with the renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, giving you convenient, local access to the region’s most qualified experts and cutting-edge treatments including:
    • Chemotherapy that uses powerful drugs to destroy cancer cells
    • Hormone therapy uses drugs to prevent hormones from fueling the growth of breast cancer cells
    • Targeted (biologic) therapies activate the body’s immune system to fight breast cancer cells
      Contact Breast Medical Oncology: 203-845-4811
  • Radiation oncology: We use sophisticated technology to deliver highly precise doses of radiation to destroy cancer cells while sparing nearby healthy tissue. Contact Radiation Oncology: 203-852-2719
  • Clinical trials: With an excellent reputation in the research community, we are a go-to site for biotech and pharmaceutical companies that are developing tomorrow’s cancer treatments—enabling us to offer you some of the most promising new cancer therapies available. Contact Clinical Trials and Research: 203-852-2996

We also offer an expert lymphedema therapy program. Sometimes, after lymph nodes have been removed or damaged as part of cancer treatment, it can cause a blockage in the lymphatic system (part of the immune system). This blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining, which can lead to swelling in an arm or breast.

Our certified lymphedema specialists not only teach ways to reduce your risk of this condition, but also provide therapy to reduce this fluid buildup through techniques that include manual drainage, bandaging, and compression garments. Contact our breast health specialist for evaluation/referral. Contact the Lymphedema Therapy Program: 203-8522757

Cancer doesn’t just affect your physical health; it has an impact on your emotional wellbeing as well as that of your family. That’s why we provide a wealth of supportive services to help at every step of diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

In fact, research shows that participating in both group and one-on-one support programs delivers real benefits, including:

  • Reduced stress
  • Improved mood
  • Lower anxiety
  • Better coping abilities
  • Greater sense of control

The Smilow Family Breast Health Center provides counseling and psychosocial support services for the issues women face at every stage of their journey with breast cancer:

  • Breast cancer support groups
  • Consultations with our licensed marriage and family therapist
  • Individual and family counseling to address cancer concerns regarding such issues as physical changes, sexual function and survivorship
  • Guidance on developing coping strategies
  • Support on how to help children and teens understand and cope with cancer in the family
  • Psychiatric evaluation, follow-up and medication management, when needed
  • Referrals to community resources and local therapists for additional support

Contact Psychosocial Support: 203-852-2174

We also have an array of additional supportive services and programs:

  • Cold Cap Therapy: Worn before, during and after chemotherapy treatment to reduce chemotherapy-induced hair loss, the caps cool the scalp so hair capillaries become temporarily dormant and don’t absorb the chemo drugs. Contact: 203-852-2357
  • Nutrition Services: Provided free of charge, nutrition counseling is available to help manage side effects and ensure you maintain adequate nutrition during treatment. Contact: 203-855-3714
  • Coping with Chemotherapy—Chemo Brain and Health Stress Workshop: This 2-part series focuses on individuals undergoing cancer treatment and facing cognitive, emotional and physical challenges. Contact: 203-852-2757
  • Post-Mastectomy Products: Specialized post-surgical garments provide a restored silhouette immediately after surgery, and we provide bra and prosthesis fittings right at the Smilow Family Breast Center. Contact: 203-852-2256
  • Survivorship Program: Moving forward after treatment is a vital step in recovery; your Breast Health Specialist provides education on cancer prevention, healthy living, and the resources available to support you as a survivor. Contact: 203-852-2300
  • Cancer Survivor Fitness Program: We have partnered with local YMCAs to offer a safe, effective fitness program specifically for cancer survivors; it is offered free of charge to patients receiving cancer treatment at Norwalk Hospital (it includes a 3-month membership to the YMCA). Contact: 203-852-2300
  • Circle of Friends Program: This one-on-one cancer support and education program matches interested patients with volunteer breast cancer survivors who’ve received special training from the American Cancer Society. Contact: 203-852-2300
  • Spiritual care: Norwalk Hospital’s Department of Spiritual Care enhances the healing process by providing a compassionate, listening presence as patients and loved ones face the emotional and spiritual impact of illness. Contact: 203-852-3784
  • Deeper Healing Meditation: Promote deeper healing, reduce stress and increase relaxation using simple yoga breathing techniques, and short meditations. Contact: 203-852-2300
  • Herbal and Supplement Consultation: Our pharmacists are trained to help you choose dietary supplements safely to prevent drug interactions. Contact: 203-852-2300

Integrative medicine combines the best therapeutic options from state-of-the-art Western medicine with complementary therapies, offering a broad approach to healing that’s patient-centered and focused on the whole person—body, mind and spirit.

Norwalk Hospital’s Integrative Medicine Program offers evidence-based holistic therapies that complement the state-of-the-art medical care our doctors and nurses provide. These therapies include:

  • Massage: Gentle, medical massage is tailored to your individual needs and can help you relax, relieve pain, calm the nervous system, and improve physical function Sessions are provided by a licensed massage therapist at the bedside or in a private session in our outpatient center.
  • Reiki: This is an ancient form of hands-on healing that eases discomfort, restores balance, and sustains health. The technique involves the “laying of hands” on or above a clothed person, focusing on the body’s energy centers.
  • Reflexology: In reflexology, areas of the foot correspond to organs and systems of the body. Pressure is applied to specific reflex points to reduce stress and restore a feeling of well-being.
  • Acupuncture/Acupressure: Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny needles at strategic points in the body to stimulate the flow of energy; it’s been shown to relieve pain and nausea, and promote a sense of equilibrium between mind and body. It’s provided by licenses acupuncturists, and both private and community-based sessions are available.
  • Herbal and Supplement Consultation: Our pharmacists are trained to help you choose dietary supplements safely to prevent drug interactions.

Want to learn more about integrative medicine?

Please email integrative.medicine@wchn.org or call 203-852-CALM (2256) to obtain fees or schedule an appointment for any of these services.

Meet the providers who are part of the Smilow Family Breast Health Center—and here for you and your family:

Breast Imaging/Mammography – Norwalk Radiology & Mammography Center - 203-838-4886

  • Mia Gorovoy, MD, Smilow Breast Imaging Director
  • James Bauman, MD
  • Richard Culver, MD
  • Lauren Ernberg, MD
  • Andrew Shih, MD
  • Evan Wasserman, MD
  • Rosario Moreno, Certified Patient Navigator

Breast Surgery

  • Jeanne Capasse, MD, Smilow Breast Center Surgical Director - 203-846-8885
  • Mandy Greenberg, MD, Smilow Breast Center High Risk Program Director - 203-846-8885
  • Kathleen LaVorgna, MD, Chief of Surgery - 203-855-3878
  • Craig Floch, MD - 203-899-0744
  • James Gadzik, MD - 203-226-0771

Breast Medical Oncology – Whittingham Cancer Center - 203-845-4811

  • Richard Zelkowitz, MD, Smilow Breast Center Medical Director
    Emma May, BSN, RN, OCN
  • George Zahrah, MD, Cancer Genetic Program Director
    Suma Gupta, BSN, RN, OCN
  • Linda Vahdat, MD, Clinical Director of Cancer Services
    Emma May, BSN, RN, OCN

Radiation Oncology - 203-852-2719

  • Pradip Pathare, MD, Director of Neoplastic Disease Committee
  • Daniel Shasha, MD, Chief of Radiation Oncology

Nursing

  • Mary Heery, APRN, AOCNS, Breast Health Specialist - 203-852-2757
  • Jean Vollmer, Lead APRN - 203-845-4811
  • Caryn Ecker, APRN - 203-845-4811
  • Valarie Solis, RN Chemotherapy Supervisor - 203-845-4811

Clinical Trials

  • Pramila Krumholz, RN, Director Cancer Research - 203-852-2996
  • Patricia Glynn, RN, MS, Cancer Research - 203-852-3012
  • Lindsey Waggoner, RN, Cancer Research - 203-852-3063

Reconstructive Surgery

Please see your breast team for a referral to a qualified reconstructive surgeon. Check with your insurance company to confirm that the surgeon is in network.

Genetics - 203-852-2300

  • Jessica Lipschutz, MS, CGC
  • Susan Ingram, MS, CGC

Psychosocial Support

  • Michelle Dailey, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist - 203-852-2174

Oncology Pharmacist

  • Stephen Farley, PharmD - 203-852-3284

Oncology Nutritionist

  • Bridget Bennett, MS, RD - 203-855-3714

Patient Navigation

  • Zarek Mena, OPN-CG, Certified Patient Navigator - 203-852-2300
    Program Services Coordinator
    Cold Cap Facilitator

Financial Navigator

  • Blanca Velasquez - 203-852-2204

Occupational/Physical Therapy - 203-852-3400

  • Beena Thomas, MA, OTR/L, CLT
  • Heather Vines, OTR/L, CLT

Integrative Medicine

  • Kendra Wilson, Program Coordinator - 203-852-2256

Here is a complete list of the resources available at the Smilow Family Breast Health Center—and how to reach us:

  • Breast Imaging -Norwalk Radiology & Mammography Center: 203-838-4886
  • Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Program: 203-852-2300
  • Cancer Genetic Counseling Program: 203-852-2300
  • Cancer Survivor Fitness Program: 203-852-2300
  • Circle of Friends Program: 203-852-2300
  • Clinical Trials and Research: 203-852-2996
  • Cold Cap Therapy: 203-852-2357
  • Coping with Chemotherapy: 203-852-2300
  • Financial Navigator: 203-852-2204
  • Integrative Medicine: 203-852-2256
  • Lymphedema Therapy Referral Program: 203-852-2757
  • Nurse Navigator/Patient Navigator: 203-852-2300
  • Nutrition Consultation: 203-852-2300
  • Outpatient Rehabilitation Services: 203-852-3400
  • Psychosocial Support: 203-852-2174
  • Post Mastectomy Products: 203-852-2256
  • Smoking Cessation Program: 203-852-2484
  • Spiritual Care: 203-852-3784
  • Support Groups
    - Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer Support Group: 203-852-2757                                
    - Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group: 203-852-2757
    - Cancer Support Group: 203-852-2174
    - Circle of Friends: 203-852-2300
    - Bereavement Support Group: 203-852-2174
  • Breast Surgical Wellness: 203-852- 2757
  • Survivorship Program: 203-852-2300
  • Transformations Weight Loss Program: 203-855-3548
  • Transportation: 203-852-2300
    - American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery: 203-563-0740
    - Dispatch-A-Ride: 203-299-5180
    - Veyo for HUSKY A, C, D members: 855-478-7350
  • F.I.S.H. of Norwalk (203-229-9727)
  • Local Senior Centers/ages 55+