Partnership fights breast cancer


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Partnership fights breast cancer

The Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation teams with the Norma Pfriem Breast Center to increase healthcare access.

Access to care. This principle started the partnership between the Norma Pfriem Breast Center and the
Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation (BI Cares), nearly 10 years ago. BI Cares is the independent nonprofit arm of pharmaceutical leader Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT. Its mission is to provide “more health” to patients, families and communities. For example, BI Cares has a Patient Assistance Program which makes select BI medicines available for free to eligible patients, including senior citizens and families living on limited incomes.

In 2008, BI Cares Vice President Frank Pomer brought the work of the Norma Pfriem Breast Center to the attention of his colleagues. “I knew Donna [Twist] and her work with the Breast Center so we invited her in to speak to Foundation leadership,” said Pomer. “At that point, we knew we wanted to support their mission. We started very small and continue to support the partnership year after year.”

The BI Cares Foundation made its first donation to the Norma Pfriem Breast Center in 2008, and over the past 10 years has donated $300,000 to the Breast Center as part of its medically underserved initiative.

In addition to the monetary donation, BI Cares Foundation team members volunteered at Bridgeport area food pantries and handed out educational materials about screenings and the work of the Breast Center. Both organizations share their work and support with one another. Pomer spoke at the Breast Center’s largest fundraiser, the Rose of Hope Luncheon, to discuss the organizations’ common goals and purpose. Likewise, a Breast Center patient shared her experience at a BI Cares Foundation steering committee meeting and made a lasting impression on the leadership team.

“Our partnership with the Norma Pfriem Breast Center is a perfect alignment of goals of both organizations,” said Karen Iannella, president of BI Cares. “We are proud to support the Breast Center and their amazing work attending to the underserved in the community.”

“Our goal is to improve someone’s health and life, one patient at a time,” said Pomer. “And with this great partnership, we are able to achieve just that.”

Both Pomer and Iannella are excited to expand this partnership in the future. “Right now, our focus is on access to healthcare because we know that early detection is important,” said Iannella. “Looking forward, we are open to additional avenues of support for the Breast Center. Our partnership is a great fit.”

To learn more about the Norma Pfriem Breast Center, visit