( HARTFORD, Conn.) - Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center has launched an outreach program that will address the prevalence and disparities of prostate cancer among men who are uninsured or underinsured, particularly African-American men.
The program is being named the Curtis D. Robinson Men's Health Institute at Saint Francis in recognition of a $1 million gift from Robinson, a member of Saint Francis' Board of Directors who is, himself, a prostate cancer survivor.
"Curtis Robinson has been a driving force in the creation of this important program, which will reach out to underserved men, especially in Hartford's African-American community. We are grateful to him for both his leadership and extraordinarily generous financial support," said Christopher M. Dadlez, the Hospital's President and Chief Executive Officer.
The Institute will encourage prostate cancer screenings for African-American men, who are 2.5 times more likely to die of the disease than Caucasian men. Educational presentations and free, private screenings will be provided through a network of more than 30 faith-based and community organizations serving primarily African-American populations.
"I am grateful to Saint Francis for the honor of naming this vital program for me," said Robinson. "It is my hope that the Curtis D. Robinson Men's Health Institute at Saint Francis will become a source of hope and healing for uninsured or underinsured men in our community."
"Early detection is the key to successful treatment of prostate cancer. The screenings provided by the Institute will make these services available to underserved men who otherwise would not be tested when prostate cancer is in its earliest and most treatable stages," said Jeffrey Steinberg, M.D., Chairman of Saint Francis' Department of Surgery, a practicing urologist and the Medical Director of the Institute.
Should prostate cancer be diagnosed in an individual tested in one of the Institute's free screening sessions, appropriate treatment, including da Vinci Robotic Surgery, will be provided at no cost to uninsured and underinsured patients under the auspices of the program.
The Institute is also being supported by a $472,533 grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
Founded in 1897, Saint Francis is a major teaching hospital licensed for 617 acute inpatient beds and 65 bassinets. It is the largest Catholic hospital in New England.