Education and Wellness

We offer a wide range of educational and wellness programs. Our goal is to provide a variety of options to meet your needs.

We have workshops focused on the needs of mind, body and spirit, to enhance your quality of life while living with cancer. We provide learning opportunities aimed at empowering you to better cope with diagnosis, recovery, treatment and beyond. We hold educational forums that are open to the public, offering the latest information pertaining to breast and ovarian cancer.

Our program calendar changes throughout the year. Please view this page often to check for new offerings. You can also visit our calendar.

All of our programs are free. Pre-registration is REQUIRED. Call us: 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290.


PLEASE NOTE: Due to the current situation with COVID-19, we have made some changes to our programming. Please view our COVID-19 Updates for details.


Tai Chi

WHEN: Every Monday until further notice, 10:30 – 11:30 am (*check our calendar for holidays & schedule changes)
WHERE: ZOOM video conference

NOTE: Space is limited. Please call for more information.

Open to women who have or have had breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer. Pre-registration is required. Call Support Connection: 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290.

The basic principle of Tai Chi (TIE-chee) is to cultivate what the Chinese allude to as the 3 treasures: mind, body, spirit. The practice includes a series of exercises called Silk Reeling (slow, repetitive, meditative movements) followed by form practice. Benefits include improved balance, strength and flexibility and a sense of well-being.

In this class, a basic beginner form will be taught. Learn to focus the mind while working on the principles of posture and motion. The goal is to help each student understand the mind-body relationship so they can continue to grow with the forms they have learned long after class ends.

INSTRUCTOR: Alan Bandes. Alan has been practicing Tai Chi for over 40 years. His teaching approach is to work with each student to achieve success within their unique capabilities.

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Meditation

WHEN: Wednesdays, 10:30 – 11 am (NY time) (*check our calendar for holidays & schedule changes)
WHERE: Telephone conference call

Open to people nationwide who have or have had breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer. Pre-registration is required.

To register, call Support Connection no later than 5pm NY time the day before: 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290.

Now more than ever, we all need to take time out of our day to nurture ourselves and find calm and peace. Support Connection invites you to join Alan Bandes, our beloved Tai Chi teacher, as he offers a weekly meditation class via toll free teleconference. Alan will share the basics of meditation and will lead us in a soothing, relaxing 15 minute guided meditation.

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Rosen Movement: A Gentle Wellness Class

WHEN: Every Friday until further notice, 10:30 – 11:45 am (NY time) (*check our calendar for holidays & schedule changes)
WHERE: ZOOM videoconference

Open to people nationwide who have or have had breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer. Pre-registration is required. To register, call Support Connection, 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290. Must register no later than 5 pm (NY time) on the day before the session.

NOTE: Space is limited for each session. Please call for more information.

Are you are looking for a new way to reduce stress, relax, and connect with your body, in the comfort of your home? Then consider trying Rosen Movement. Developed by physical therapist Marion Rosen, a health and wellness pioneer, Rosen Movement encourages relaxation through range of motion and stretching exercises set to music. The sequence of movements encourages flexibility through joint lubrication, chest and rib expansion, muscle lengthening and ease of body, mind and spirit. The movements are easy and simple.

No experience necessary. All you need are comfortable clothing and a private space to move freely. Attend one or all of the sessions.

INSTRUCTOR: Betty Ross is a Licensed Massage Therapist and a Certified Rosen Method Bodyworker. She is also certified in Core Energetic Therapy and is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. Betty is also a breast cancer survivor.

Comments from some past participants: “This program helped me relax & exercise at the same time.” ~ “I felt like my various joints were put through a full range of motion and I didn’t feel quite as stiff. It was nice to connect with others, even if just virtually.” ~ “Betty was wonderful and her choice of music had a smile on my face throughout the class. I left each class happy and feeling great.”

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Yoga – A Path Toward Wellness

WHEN: Saturdays; Two sessions offered: 10 – 10:45 am and 11 – 11:45 am (*check our calendar for holidays & schedule changes)
WHERE: Online program

Open to women who have or have had breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer. Pre-registration is required. Call Support Connection: 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290.

NOTE: Space is limited for each session. Please call for more information.

Appropriate for beginners or more advanced students. Emphasis is placed on movement with breath awareness as a way to achieve a more tranquil mind. Experience the benefits of yoga, which include a stronger, healthier body and a calmer, more focused mind. Come every week, or as often as you’d like. Please obtain your doctor’s approval before participating in any wellness program.

INSTRUCTOR: Mia Azcue, CYT, E-RYT 500, RPT. Mia has been a student and teacher of yoga for 20 years and has been teaching classes for Support Connection for at least 10 years. She holds certificates from the American Viniyoga Institute, both as a yoga teacher and as a yoga therapist, and is also a licensed Physical Therapist in the state of New York. As a yoga therapist, Mia draws deeply on her training and applies yoga principles to assist the individual with any physical, emotional and/or spiritual challenges she or he may be facing.

Doris, a regular participant, says “Mia’s knowledgeable, gentle approach brings a sense of peace and awareness that stays with me long after the class is over.”

*This program is funded in part by a grant from the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation.

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National Educational Webinar For Women With Ovarian Cancer

WHEN: Monday, March 1, Noon- 1pm (NY time)
WHERE: National Webinar

Open to women nationwide who have or have had ovarian cancer. Pre-registration is required. To register, call Support Connection, 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290. Must register no later than 5 pm (NY time) on Fri., Feb. 26

The focus of this educational webinar will be Genetics and Genomics of Ovarian Cancer. Genetics refers to the study of genes and the way that certain traits or conditions are passed down from one generation to another. Genomics describes the study of all of a person’s genes (the genome).

Topics will include:

  • The latest research on genetics and genomics for ovarian cancer
  • How does your genetics affect treatment?
  • The importance and role of genomics as it pertains to treatment
  • PARP Inhibitors
  • The importance of genetics for family members

Following the presentation, there will be a question and answer period.

SPEAKER: Melissa Frey, M.D. Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the division of gynecologic oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Frey specializes in all aspects of gynecologic oncology. Her research focuses on genetics and genomics in gynecologic cancer. She has presented her research at national and international meetings and has more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Much of Dr. Frey’s research has focused on genetic syndromes that predispose to gynecologic cancer including hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (BRCA1/BRCA2) and Lynch syndrome.

Dr. Frey graduated magna cum laude from Duke University and earned her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College, graduating with honors in research. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medicine / NewYork-Presbyterian. She subsequently completed her fellowship in gynecologic oncology at New York University Langone Medical Center. Dr. Frey has received numerous awards for her clinical excellence, surgical expertise and medical research, as well as many teaching awards.

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10 Years Or More Post-Diagnosis: An Open Discussion

WHEN: Monday, March 8, 7 – 8:30 pm (NY time)
WHERE: ZOOM video conference

Open to people nationwide who were diagnosed with breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer 10 or more years ago. Pre-registration is required. To register, call Support Connection, 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290. Must register no later than 5 pm (NY time) on Fri., March 5.

Have short-term side effects become long-term? Are you confused or do you just have questions about how treatment recommendations and follow-up protocols have changed since you were diagnosed? Has the pandemic impacted this in any way? Do you find yourself asking what doctors you should still be seeing and why? Do you wonder who is actually watching the ship?

YOU ARE NOT ALONE in any of this. Many of you call with questions regarding long-term survivorship follow-up. Join us for an open discussion to talk openly with others who are facing the same types of challenges.

This is not an educational program; it is a topic-focused Open Discussion group facilitated by a Support Connection Peer Counselor.  Our Open Discussion groups are an opportunity to connect with others who have similar concerns, to share information, resources, and coping strategies.

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For Men Only, Let’s Talk: An Open Discussion For Men With A Spouse Or Partner Going Through Cancer

WHEN: Tuesday, March 16, 7-8pm (NY time)
WHERE: ZOOM videoconference

Open to men nationwide who have a spouse or partner living with breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer. Pre-registration is required. To register, call Support Connection, 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290. Must register no later than 5 pm (NY time) on Mon., March 15.

It may be your spouse or partner who has been diagnosed with cancer, but it also affects you, as well as your family. You want to help and be supportive, but it’s not always easy to know how. Speaking with others who are in the same situation is an excellent way to learn, get ideas, and feel less alone.

This program is open to all men who have a spouse or partner dealing with breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer, at any stage from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. Our facilitator will lead the discussion which will include following topics:

  • What it’s like to see your spouse or partner go through cancer, and how it affects you.
  • How cancer can impact you and your spouse or partner, your relationship and your family.
  • Coping strategies for you, your spouse or partner, and your family.
  • Giving yourself permission to take care of your own needs at the same time as you support your loved one.

The open discussion format provides a safe and supportive venue to talk with others coping with similar challenges. Share concerns, experiences and information with others who’ve been there too.

DISCUSSION LEADER: Alan Bandes. Alan has personally experienced coping with his own wife’s breast cancer journey, and serves as volunteer facilitator for our men’s open discussion programs.

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Common Questions About Bone Health and Cancer

WHEN: Tuesday, April 20, 1 – 2 pm (NY time)
WHERE: National Webinar

Open to people who have or have had breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer. Pre-registration is required. To register, call Support Connection: 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290. Must register no later than 5 pm (NY time) on Mon., April 19.

After being diagnosed with and treated for breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer, most of us wonder about possible long-term changes to our bodies. The impact of cancer treatment on bone health is one of the issues often discussed.

This educational webinar will address some of the common questions pertaining to bone health for those diagnosed with breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer, such as:

  • What are bones made of?
  • What are the effects of cancer treatments on bone health?
  • How common is osteoporosis among survivors of breast, ovarian and gynecological cancer?
  • What are some of the risk factors for osteoporosis?
  • How is osteoporosis diagnosed?
  • Are there steps I can take (such as exercise, nutrition, supplements) to enhance my bone health?

Speaker: Payal Sahni, MPT, DPT. Senior Physical Therapist at Helen Hayes Hospital; Program Coordinator for the NYS Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Program. Dr. Sahni holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in Physical Therapy, and is an Ambassador for Bone Health Education for the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

With 20 years of experience as a PT, Dr. Sahni has spent the past 12 years at Helen Hayes Hospital, which serves as the Statewide Osteoporosis Resource Center for the NYS Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Program. At Helen Hayes, Dr. Sahni developed a program called “Strong Bones, Stronger Me.” She has also engaged in research pertaining to PT for osteoporosis, and is a frequent speaker at seminars and educational programs on bone health.

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It’s Okay to Grieve, Let’s Talk: An Open Discussion for Men Living With Loss

WHEN: Tuesday, April 20, 7 – 8 pm (NY time)
WHERE: ZOOM video conference

Open to men nationwide who have lost a spouse or partner to breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer. Pre-registration is required. To register, call Support Connection, 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290. Must register no later than 5 pm (NY time) on Mon., April 19.

It is never possible to prepare yourself for the loss of a spouse or partner. Learning how to cope with the grief and the impact on your life is hard to do alone. Speaking with others who’ve also been through it is an excellent way to learn and feel less alone.

This program is open to all men who have experienced loss, regardless of how much time has gone by. Our facilitator will lead the discussion which will include following topics:

  • There is no one way to grieve: no right way, and no wrong way.
  • Understanding the challenges and uncertainties that accompany loss.
  • Dealing with unexpected “trigger points” and reminders.
  • Coping with loneliness.
  • Giving yourself permission to move forward.

The open discussion format provides a safe and supportive venue to talk with others coping with similar challenges. Share concerns, experiences and information with others who’ve been there too.

DISCUSSION LEADER: Alan Bandes. Alan has personally experienced the loss of his beloved wife to breast cancer, and serves as volunteer facilitator for our men’s open discussion programs.

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Advances in Breast Cancer + Cooking for Wellness: A Two-Part Webinar

WHEN: Wednesday, June 9, 1 – 2:15 pm (NY time)
WHERE: National Webinar

Open to: People who have or have had breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer; People with a family member or loved one living with breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer.

Pre-registration is required. To register, call Support Connection, 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290. Must register no later than 5 pm (NY time) on Tues., June 8.

*This program is being presented in partnership with NewYork – Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital.

This two-part program will begin with a presentation on Advances in Breast Cancer, presented by Dr. Stacey Ugras, a breast surgical oncologist. Dr. Ugras will discuss the latest news and research pertaining to breast cancer diagnosis and treatments, as well as risk-assessment for high risk individuals and families.

In part two of this program, Chef Emilie Berner will focus on cooking techniques and nutritional strategies that can help manage fatigue often experienced by both patients and caregivers. During a live cooking demonstration, Chef Berner will talk about foods that provide energy; the role of protein and fluids for managing fatigue; and how meal planning can be a useful tool.

Presenters:

Stacy K. Ugras MD, FACS: Dr. Ugras is a breast surgical oncologist with ColumbiaDoctors and NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group Hudson Valley, and an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Columbia University Medical Center. She is dedicated to the treatment of benign and malignant breast diseases, performing all aspects of breast surgery and working to deliver the highest-quality breast care.

Dr. Ugras graduated Weill Cornell Medical College, then completed her residency in general surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. During residency, she completed a research fellowship in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She completed her clinical fellowship in breast surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Ugras is active in research and has been published in various medical journals. She is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons as well as a member of The American Society of Breast Surgeons and the Society of Surgical Oncology.

Emilie Berner, MA: Ms Berner received her bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from Barnard College in New York City. Her passion for food led her to train at The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health Supportive & Culinary Arts. She later earned a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University.

In 2016 Berner joined the Chef Peter X. Kelly Teaching Kitchen, which is part of the Harvest for Health initiative at NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital. The larger program includes an organic garden, a farmer’s market and food service for patients and employees. The program’s goal is to teach people how to better manage their health through diet and lifestyle changes.