Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso Breast Care Center receives $30k Grant for patient services

The James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation has awarded a $30,000 grant to the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso Breast Care Center (BCC) to provide direct patient services.

Karinn Chambers, M.D., assistant professor in TTUHSC El Paso’s department of surgery and medical director of the BCC, said two-thirds of the center’s patients are uninsured or have very little means, so a gift like this will be impactful beyond measure.

“The extremely kind and gracious donation provided by the Davidson foundation is much appreciated and vital to our patients,” Dr. Chambers said.

“The majority of patients seen at the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso Breast Care Center have very little resources.  Very often we see our patients struggle with transportation, emotional support, and the office fees associated with their treatment.  This does not even begin to touch the overwhelming concerns that then arise when it comes to the costs of surgery, chemotherapy, and the radiation treatments they may need.  Fully understanding the cancer treatments being recommended to our patients and all options available to them is also often a struggle for our patients. The complexities of cancer care are vast and our patients do not always know who to turn to for assistance.”

The foundation, located in Midland, Texas, was established in 2002. It gives generously to various campuses in the Texas Tech University System as well as non-profits across Texas.

The grant will help fund screenings, oncology care kits, and services provided by the BCC’s survivorship program. The survivorship program is a free, holistic program that helps patients navigate life after remission.

The costs related to breast cancer treatment can quickly become a financial burden to patients and their families. The BCC, which operates in large part on private donations, offers free or reduced-cost services to low-income and underinsured patients to help alleviate the financial stress of a cancer diagnosis.

With the generous donation provided by the Davidson Foundation we will provide educational resources, survivorship support, and financial support for our patients in the hopes that this will ease the burdens they face during their cancer journey. The diagnosis of breast cancer is fraught with fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. In these troubling times any and all humanitarian efforts undertaken are priceless.

The BCC is where Gloria Ramirez heard for the first time that she had stage 2 breast cancer.

“I still remember the day, Jan. 5, 2018, when Dr. Chambers shared the news with me,” Gloria said. “There were a lot of sad tears during that time. But, I can say today that I am extremely grateful to be alive, thanks to the support and excellent care I received at the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso Breast Care Center.”

The center provides comprehensive and integrated care for the diagnosis, treatment and education of breast cancer patients, and conducts clinical research in the prevention, early detection and treatment of breast cancer and treatment-related side effects. It is the first breast center in El Paso to be accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).

Each year, there are more than 5,000 patient visits to the BCC, of which 1,000 are new patient visits. The center identifies almost 200 new breast cancer cases annually, which is approximately one-third of new cases reported each year in El Paso County.

One out of 10 new patients at the BCC receives a diagnosis of breast cancer. The BCC also evaluates and treats a variety of benign breast conditions as well as patients identified as being at high risk for breast cancer development.

The BCC is part of TTP El Paso’s multidisciplinary approach to treating breast cancer patients. This team includes breast surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, a nurse practitioner, certified nurses, breast radiologists and pathologists.

Following treatment, patients can attend stress reduction classes and learn adjustment techniques included in the survivorship program.

The BCC accepts donations and seeks grants to provide all necessary aspects of breast cancer to our patient population. Its location in the heart of El Paso and on the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso campus allows patients to remain in the city for treatment and not have the stress of traveling to different clinics to seek care.

June is National Cancer Survivor Month and Dr. Chambers would like to remind women and men to do their breast self-exams.

Self-breast exam:

Look for-

  • Skin changes
  • Swelling

Nipple changes/discharge

Feel for-

  • Lumps
  • Bumps
  • Hard areas that get larger with time

Repeat –

  • Monthly at the same time every month.

Visit the Breast Care Center’s webpage for more information or to make an appointment.