Beit Natan was founded by women for women, in response to the low levels of health awareness among Ultra-Orthodox women. Founded in Jerusalem in 1996, we provide services nationwide. We have reached over 25,000 primarily underserved women (Ultra-Orthodox, Palestinian Arab Israelis, and new immigrants) through our Woman to Woman - breast cancer educational outreach program alone. In addition, we have become family to hundreds more, all suffering from the effects of cancer, whether themselves or through a close family member. Through group lectures, peer group education and direct telephone intervention, Beit Natan has broken the taboo around breast cancer, raised general health awareness within the community, and promoted preventative health care and healthy lifestyles.
To further understand and serve our community, Beit Natan conducted the first national survey of the health habits of Orthodox women and the quality, usage and efficacy of health services by the Haredi community" (2001, the Israel National Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research). We also expanded early detection of breast cancer services to the community through training 15 female physicians to gain expertise and proficiency in performing clinical breast examinations as the first step in our pilot program of researching and performing CBEs on modest populations.
Our patient support programs directly service cancer patients and their families.. Today, we conduct three Retreats for Recovery each year, serving 230 female cancer patients. We have trained 130 recovered patients to staff our help-line, who are matched to provide support to 600 yearly callers undergoing similar medical or social circumstances. We have trained an additional 130 volunteers to provide home hospice services to terminally ill patients in four cities throughout Israel. Our active volunteers are annually conducting 1,700 visits on a weekly basis. Our 25 support groups, workshops and lectures target 200 female cancer patients and their husbands annually. In addition, we have support groups and events targeting the teenage and adult children of female cancer patients. Another service for cancer patients is our Health Resource Library covering topics such as: alternative medicine, self-help, medical reference books, cancer, bereavement, diet, family and illness, and guided imagery.
Needless to say, Beit Natan is always creating innovatiove approaches in cancer care.