SUPPORT CONNECTION INC

We've Been There. We Care.

Yorktown Heights, NY   |  www.supportconnection.org

Mission

Support Connection's mission is to provide emotional, social and educational support services to women, their families and friends affected by breast and ovarian cancer. The support provided enables women to help each other and empowers them to become their own healthcare advocates. All of our services are provided free of charge, and are unlimited.

Ruling year info

1996

Executive Director

Ms. Katherine Quinn

Main address

40 Triangle Center Suite 100

Yorktown Heights, NY 10598 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-3900612

NTEE code info

Cancer (G30)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

Nonmonetary Support N.E.C. (E19)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The problem our organization aims to address is the need for comprehensive emotional, social and educational support for those impacted by breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer. This support is needed to enable cancer patients, survivors and their families to better cope with the tremendous impact of cancer diagnosis and treatment, and the aftermath.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

One-on-One Peer Counseling for People Affected by Breast and Ovarian Cancer

Women with breast and ovarian cancer, or anyone needing information about these diseases, can call us 5 days a week, 9 am - 5 pm NY time, and speak directly with a trained Peer Counselor, a cancer survivor who has traveled the journey already. Calls received after hours are returned the next business day. We have a toll-free number (800-532-4290) for information and support, making this service readily available to anyone nationwide.Peer Counselors offer information about breast and ovarian cancer, ongoing emotional support, community resources and referrals, connections to other women with similar situations. There are no limits on our peer counseling services. This individualized, free support is available as often as you need it, for as long as you need it, regardless of where you are on your journey through diagnosis, treatment and recovery.This survivor-to-survivor approach is central to our philosophy; it sets us apart and makes our services both effective and powerful. As one of our Peer Counselors said: “We have walked the walk. We have heard the words 'you have cancer,' felt the fear and anxiety, tried to find some sanity in it all and gone through the tests, the surgeries and the treatments. Just like the women who call, we have held the pieces of a cancer diagnosis together and continued raising our kids, working and maintaining households. We ourselves are women whose lives could not stop for cancer.”

Population(s) Served
Adults

Breast and ovarian cancer support groups offer women a confidential setting where they can come together to discuss their journeys and share information. In a support group, women can talk openly about their diagnosis and their concerns; they can share resources and stories, tears, fears and even laughter. Support groups are offered once a month and are led by trained peer facilitators who are cancer survivors. We currently have 12 different groups on our calendar. Groups focus on topics relating to all stages of diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment. Specialized groups include groups for young women with breast cancer, women with ovarian and gynecological cancers, women experiencing a recurrence of cancer.

Population(s) Served
Adults

We plan and implement a variety of educational programs on topics pertaining to breast and ovarian cancer. Programs occur throughout the year. These forums are often planned in collaboration with other service providers and professionals in the community. Some programs are offered via webinar, featuring acknowledged experts in the areas of medicine, nutrition, coping with cancer, etc.

Population(s) Served
Adults

We plan and implement a variety of interactive and educational workshops which empower women with cancer to better cope with recovery and treatment while continuing with their day-to-day lives. Programs occur throughout the year. Examples of topics include holistic health and healing modalities, nutrition, stress reduction, etc.We also offer ongoing programs (i.e. scheduled weekly or monthly) that offer women living with cancer the opportunity to meet for a common purpose, enabling them to connect with one another and engage in healing or relaxing activities. Examples include yoga, meditation and exercise classes, knitting circle, book club.

Population(s) Served
Adults

We participate in numerous community events to share information with the general public about breast and ovarian cancer. We also plan and implement our own community outreach projects, distribute a newsletter, and engage in public relations activities, all with the goal of raising public awareness about breast and ovarian cancer.

Population(s) Served
Adults

In addition to programs that offer educational information and learning opportunities, we host a variety of social programs (such as book club, knitting circle, arts programs) which give women a chance to relax and refocus while spending time with other women who understand what it means to have cancer.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of breast or ovarian cancer patients/survivors and/or loved ones who benefited from individual counseling

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total number of people served by all of our programs. More than half of those served (59%) were served on multiple occasions.

Number of clients participating in support groups

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Breast and Ovarian Cancer Support Groups

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

73 different women participated in support groups in 2020; many attended multiple sessions. Total attendance for the year was 258.

Number of clients participating in educational programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Educational Programs About Breast & Ovarian Cancer

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2020 we increased our virtual educational program offerings due to the pandemic. 177 different people participated; many attended multiple programs/sessions. Total attendance for 2020 was 623.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal at Support Connection is to insure that no one affected by breast and ovarian cancer will have to face it alone. Therefore, our mission is to provide emotional, social and educational support services to women, their families and friends affected by breast and ovarian cancer. The support provided enables women to help each other and empowers them to become their own healthcare advocates.

IMPORTANT: Please see note at the end of this statement rea.

We offer a wide-range of support services and programs, knowing that effective cancer support cannot be “one-size-fits-all." All of our services are free of charge.

Our One-on-One Peer Counseling program offers individualized support &information This confidential service is free & unlimited. It is available nationwide via our toll-free support line or email. Peer Counselors are members of our staff, and are cancer survivors themselves. They're on duty Mon. through Fri., 9am – 5pm. Anytime you call or email for help or answers, you'll be connected right away with a Peer Counselor.

Our monthly support groups provide a place to meet others who understand what you're going through. Group members share information, experiences, & support in a warm, welcoming environment. We offer 12 monthly support groups. Our in-person groups meet (when in-person meetings are possible) at different locations in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties in NY. We also have two telephone groups; these take place via national toll-free teleconference, making them available regardless of where you live.

We also have a year-round calendar of educational programs & social activities. We have workshops focused on the needs of mind, body & spirit, to enhance quality of life while living with cancer. We provide learning opportunities aimed at empowering you to better cope with diagnosis, recovery, treatment and beyond. We create places for you to enjoy a relaxing activity with a group of women who have also heard the words, “you have cancer." We hold educational forums offering the latest information pertaining to breast and ovarian cancer.

NOTE: When the COVID-19 crisis hit, Support Connection immediately made adjustments to our service delivery so the people we serve would still have our support. We set all staff up to work remotely, including our *Peer Counselors, who have been fielding large numbers of calls and emails every day from cancer patients and survivors who are overwhelmed by trying to manage their unique health needs while our health care system is severely overtaxed. Support groups were transitioned to toll-free teleconference or ZOOM video conference. In-person programs were put on hold, & we created a brand new calendar of programs offered via webinar, teleconference and ZOOM video conference. Coping with cancer under the best of circumstances is extremely stressful. Coping with cancer while also faced with the challenges brought on by COVID-19 is almost unbearable. We understand this, and are committed to being here for those who need us. We will apply these changes to our program for as long as it is necessary. (*As of August 2020, we’ve had a rotating in-office/remote schedule, so one counselor is in the office every day.)

We are uniquely qualified to offer essential support and guidance to those living with breast, ovarian & gynecological cancer because of our distinctive “peer-to-peer" approach to service provision. We employ a staff of Peer Counselors: trained counselors who are also cancer survivors. Our Peer Counselors can talk with you about living with cancer from the perspective of someone who's been there. In addition, they've each spoken with hundreds of other women of all ages and different circumstances. This powerful combination of personal and professional experience enables them to bring unique wisdom to every conversation.

In addition to providing direct services such as one-on-one counseling, our Peer Counselors also plan and implement all of our other services. They choose the topics, speakers and formats for our educational and wellness programs. For our support groups, they lead groups themselves, or they train and supervise volunteers (also cancer survivors) to be support group facilitators. Everything we do, and every service we offer, has a peer-to-peer focus that is rarely seen.

Overall, our staff represents many years of experience. Our Executive Director was involved in the founding of the organization in 1996 and has continued to lead it ever since with a consistent focus on meeting the needs of those living with breast and ovarian cancer. Our Director of Services and Communication, who oversees our Peer Counselors, has been with Support Connection since 2004 and is also a breast cancer survivor. The 3 Peer Counselors on our staff have been with us since 2004, 2005 and 2012; they have all been cancer survivors for more than 15 years.

What we’ve accomplished so far: We have built a unique, effective model for delivering critically needed support to those living with the many challenges brought on by breast, ovarian & gynecological cancer diagnosis, treatment & the aftermath. We provide these services completely free of charge. Since 1996 we have helped thousands of women & families coping with these diseases. We have developed successful methods for meeting their varied needs: individual & group support, education & wellness. We have consistently been there for those who reach out to us.

What’s next: To continue delivering these services for as long as breast, ovarian & gynecological cancer exist. Our greatest wish is that we will someday no longer be needed. Until a true cure/prevention is found, each year hundreds of thousands of people are diagnosed, leading to hundreds of thousands of survivors who will live with the after-effects of diagnosis & treatment forever. Therefore, our services will continue to be needed for many years to come.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    People impacted by breast, ovarian and gynecological cancer who seek out and receive our services.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Case management notes,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Each year, the topics and types of educational programs/workshops and other group activities we offer are selected through suggestions and ideas obtained through feedback from our clients.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    It has always been our practice to collect feedback from those we serve, since our organization was founded 25 years ago.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

SUPPORT CONNECTION INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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SUPPORT CONNECTION INC

Board of directors
as of 3/30/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Gary Wawrzycki

David Paganelli

Town of Yorktown Highway Department

David Sacarny

Equity Portfolio Realty, and DBS Construction

Laurie Leahy

Food Fantasies of Westchester, LLC

Beth Beck

Club Fit

Janet DeVito

A. DeVito and Son, Inc.

Denise D'Amico

no affiliation

Karen Bobay

Retired, Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson Inc.

Carol Cirieco

Houlihan Lawrence Real Estate

Steve Kollias

NY-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/30/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data