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Upstate's She Matters and You Matter programs awarded grant from medical technology firm

The Upstate Foundation has received an $81,770 grant to expand the Upstate Cancer Center’s She Matters breast cancer outreach and education program as well as support the launch of You Matter, a health careers pathway initiative for Syracuse youth.

The grant was awarded by Hologic, a global medical technology innovator primarily focused on improving women’s health and well-being through early detection and treatment.

“We are grateful for Hologic’s support of She Matters and You Matter,” said Linda Veit, MPH, Upstate assistant vice president of community relations and interim chief of staff. “The generous gift from Hologic will help us to enhance and strengthen these important programs that benefit women’s health and provide youth with skills and opportunities to prepare them for careers in health care.”

She Matters is a peer-to-peer outreach and education program created by the Upstate Cancer Center to reduce breast cancer disparities and improve health outcomes by making annual breast cancer screening a priority among low-income, primarily Black and Hispanic women living in public housing in Syracuse. The program, founded in 2014, works closely with the residents of the Syracuse Housing Authority.

Key to the success of the program is the recruitment of public housing residents to serve as specially trained Resident Health Advocates. As advocates, they provide culturally appropriate breast health education; navigation to screening mammography; and, when necessary, access to prompt diagnostic and treatment services. The goal of the program is to eliminate barriers to health care, change behavior, and make annual breast cancer screening a priority. Over the past eight years, She Matters has reached more than 6,000 women and facilitated breast screening in more than 800 women over 40.

Also funded by the Hologic grant is You Matter, a healthcare careers pathway for local youth. The program reaches out in non-traditional ways to elementary, middle, and high school-aged students, and works one-on-one with each student in exploring and identifying the academic pathway needed to gain a rewarding healthcare career. Upstate says that are more than 1,000 local youth are eligible to participate in the program.

The grant is part of Hologic’s pledge to donate $5 million to improve women’s health; science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, and social and racial inequity initiatives, particularly in healthcare.

“With support of these two important initiatives, we look forward to building a long-term relationship with Hologic, a new funding partner of the Upstate Foundation,” said Terry Toscano Shenfeld, director of foundation relations at the Upstate Foundation.  

About Hologic

Hologic, Inc. is a medical technology innovator primarily focused on improving women’s health and well-being through early detection and treatment. Its advancements include invention of 3D mammography to fight breast cancer; leadership in testing for cervical cancer, sexually transmitted infections, respiratory illnesses and the virus that causes COVID-19; and minimally invasive surgical technologies for uterine fibroids and abnormal uterine bleeding. The company also champions women through the Hologic Global Women’s Health Index, which provides a science-backed data roadmap for improving women’s well-being, and Project Health Equality, which elevates awareness, research insights and access to quality care for underserved women. For more information on Hologic, visit www.hologic.com.


Caption: Participating in the Hologic check presentation are, back row, from left, Hologic representatives Scott Starks, Jack Kearney, Shawn Morrow and Kenny Goodwin. Front row, from left, are Laura DiGangi, senior manager, Hologic;  Linda Veit, She Matters founder and She Matters/You Matter director, assistant vice president of community relations and chief of staff; Elizabeth Fuertes-Binder, Upstate breast cancer navigator and You Matter education pathway coordinator; Terry Toscano Shenfeld, director of foundation Relations, Upstate Foundation and Rachel Ryan-Osiecki, She Matters program coordinator.