Adelphi University has a longstanding record of responding to needs in the community. In 1980, the first post mastectomy group began at Adelphi’s School of Social Work. The women in the support group, all of whom felt extremely isolated when they were diagnosed, found comfort in sharing their fears, questions and experiences among others who were experiencing the same feelings. They decided they wanted to reach out to other women facing breast cancer too.
At a time in history when breast cancer was not even discussed publicly these group members, along with staff, faculty, and interns at Adelphi, developed the “Woman-to-Woman Hotline.” The hotline began with nine trained volunteers who offered their assistance seven hours a week to individuals in the local region. By 1990, thanks to funding provided by New York State, the hotline expanded to cover all of the state.
Over time the hotline that began in 1980 grew into a comprehensive organization: the Adelphi New York Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program. Today this program has a professional social work staff as well as over 100 trained volunteers who run a hotline and website and provide counseling, education, and advocacy programs.