Breast center simplifies a trying experience

The new Rena Rowan Breast Center, one of only a handful of breast cancer centers in the country, will open to patients in November.

But some at Penn aren’t waiting until then to lend a helping hand. The sororities of the Panhellenic Association will host the Rena Rowan Ribbon Run Saturday, Oct. 29 (check-in at 9 a.m. outside Harnwell College House), to raise money for the center.

“It’s really exciting,” said Jennifer Chenowitz (C’01), president of the Panhellenic Council, the governing board of the association. “President Rodin is shooting the starter’s pistol. College Dean Richard Beeman will be there running and speaking. [Fashion designer] Rena Rowan will be there.”

The new center on the 14th floor of the Penn Tower Hotel will coordinate treatment for breast cancer in both men and women, as well as related diseases and conditions.

“You can call one single number. We will schedule all the visits that you need. We become the people who you can rely on for any stage of your experience,” said Beverly R. Ginsburg, executive director of the Cancer Center, in which the Rowan Center is located.

The run is Panhel’s second fundraiser for the center, Chenowitz said. Last semester, they raised enough money to buy CD players for patients under treatment in the chemotherapy rooms.

“We’ve been meeting with the center’s volunteer coordinators and representatives since February, and have really seen it go from an idea that was going to happen to it’s happening now,” Chenowitz said.

On-site services include nutrition advisors, rehab instructors, psychological counselors and a boutique staffed by experts to help with selecting prosthetics, wigs and hats.
To Ginsburg, the center is “a dream come true.

“I came to Penn to help create an environment in which our physicians could do what they do best, which is give patients the best chance for recovery. We also wanted to create an environment in which our scientific discoveries could benefit the patient immediately…and also to create an environment that is comfortable and easy for patients and provides them the services and emotional support that they need and want.”


Originally published on October 26, 2000