Julie Ratner, who’s in her 19th year of overseeing Ellen’s Run, said this week that she is “very, very proud” that the road race she began in memory of her sister, Ellen P. Hermanson, who died of breast cancer, has enabled women here to avail themselves of top-notch services at Southampton Hospital.
“Ellen’s Run gave out $290,000 in grants this past year,” she said, “including $110,000 to the Ellen Hermanson Center at the hospital, which finished paying for a tomosynthesis system, which is the most advanced technology for doing mammography. As opposed to a two-dimensional picture, it takes a three-dimensional one. It’s like a CT scan. The radiologist can scroll through the pictured tissue, allowing him or her to see lesions or calcifications in real time and space. . . . It’s a great diagnostic tool in terms of finding cancers that might not be found quite so early. It translates into saving lives.”
The remainder of the grant money, she said, went to Ellen’s Well, “which is all about psychosocial support — about living valiantly, peacefully, triumphantly, comfortably, as anxiety-free as possible with a life-threatening disease. We’re continuing to fund our oncological social worker, who facilitates support groups for women who are newly diagnosed and for women in whom the disease has come back and spread.”
Her own sister had not been availed of that valuable initial support following her diagnosis, she said, and became an ardent advocate for better patient services and care — work that Ms. Ratner has carried on. Thus Ellen’s Well, to which Southampton Hospital’s full-time patient navigator and outreach coordinator, Susie Roden, a two-time breast cancer survivor herself, directs women diagnosed with the disease.
“Susie works with Ellen’s Well’s programs, so it’s all pretty seamless,” Ms. Ratner said. “Like a hologram — the sum of the parts are almost greater than the whole. It works really well.”
“We’re hoping everyone will come to the 5K run and walk at the hospital’s Parrish Hall on Aug. 17, and that the weather will be exquisite. Our record has been close to 1,100, but we’d like even more. We’d love to run out of T-shirts. There’s a spectacular runners’ raffle too — I can’t think of one junky thing — that non-participants can enter also simply by getting a bib number.
About $200,000 was raised at the event’s Summer Solstice party on June 21 at which the president and chief executive officer of the hospital, Bob Chaloner, was honored, along with Jean Shafiroff, “a volunteer par excellence.”
“My hope was to be able to fund Ellen’s Well again, which we were able to do, and there’s always something at the breast center that needs doing. It needs to be maintained and updated. . . . Women here have access to state-of-the-art care. In America access to state-of-the-art care should be available to everyone as a human right, no matter what. I really mean that.”