Bellevue Hospital – Rita J. Kaplan Breast Imaging Center

Overview: In the 1990s, a Kaplan family member developed breast cancer. With the help of early detection and excellent medical treatment, the family member’s battle with the disease led to remission. Moved by this experience, Rita sought to ensure that all women, no matter their means, would be able to receive top-notch breast cancer detection services. She found a ready partner in Bellevue Hospital, the “people’s hospital,” which provides health care services to the un-insured and under-insured. And so, the Breast Imaging Center was born. Rita insisted on cutting-edge medical equipment, superb staff, and a homey feel (complete with butterfly wallpaper, Rita’s favorite) to make sure women were treated with dignity and respect.

Results: After 8+ years of operation, the Center has provided over 60,000 free mammograms to over 43,000 women. Of the women screened, 15% needed a follow-up visit for an abnormal exam. Of these, 500 cases of cancer were detected. Had it not been for the Center, these women may not have detected their cancer until it was too late.