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Cancer Wellness Connections receives Berman award

Rochester Business Journal
December 5, 2013

Cancer Wellness Connections and its co-founders, Eileen Grossman, Cynthia Angel M.D. and Brent DuBeshter M.D., are winners of the 2013 Howard J. Berman Prize.

Awarded annually, the $10,000 Berman prize recognizes Upstate New York community-based, non-profits for efforts to improve access to health care. In addition to the cash, awardees get a copper statue handcrafted by Rochester sculptor Leonard Urso.

Founded in 2006 as the Cancer Wellness Spa of Greater Rochester, Cancer Wellness Connections grew out of a bridge game Grossman decided to organize as a diversion for friends who were undergoing treatment at an area chemotherapy infusion center.

When other patients asked to join the game, Grossman realized patients dealing with the rigors of cancer treatment were hungry for such diversions. Angel and DuBeshter helped organize and develop the program, which is now incorporated as a non-profit. Grossman is chairman of the organization; Angel and DuBeshter serve as board officers.

Activities and amenities Cancer Wellness Connections provides include personal training, Reiki therapy, yoga, journaling, manicures, nutrition tips, books, puzzles and games, and iPads.

More than 8,000 patients a year at area infusion centers, including facilities at Highland, Strong Memorial, Unity and Rochester General hospitals, benefit.

Better Day Buddies, a Cancer Wellness program aimed at child cancer patients, provides craft and activity bags, books and games to child cancer patients including children treated at the Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong.  

Child and adult infusion patients are fed by Cancer Wellness Connections courtesy of a score of local restaurants that supply the non-profit with snacks. 

Named in honor of former Blues and Lifetime Healthcare Cos. Inc. CEO Howard Berman, the prize is financed by private donations. Awardees are chosen by six-member committee, with Rochester Business Alliance Inc. president and CEO Sandra Parker, serving as chairman.

The $10,000 cash award would be put to good use by her group, helping Cancer Wellness Connections to expand programming, Grossman said.
(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail

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