About

Breast Cancer Support Services of Berks County is a non-profit that provides hope, information and emotional support to every person affected by breast cancer.

Mission Statement

Breast Cancer Support Services of Berks County is a non-profit organization that provides hope, information and emotional support to every person affected by breast cancer.

 

Vision Statement

To be the go-to organization to provide local support, resources, services, and hope for every person affected by breast cancer. We campaign for improvement in standards of support and care by being an independent voice to advocate for your needs through every stage of your journey. We offer programs and resources that support the mind, body and spirit of those affected by breast cancer.

 

Our History

In fall of 1993, breast cancer survivors and family members of women with breast cancer recognized the tremendous need in Berks for support and educational services concerning this disease. These concerned women came together as a group and Breast Cancer Support Services (BCSS) of Berks was created. BCSS began operating in July 1994 and in December of that year moved into an office in West Reading. Our initial goals were to implement support groups, establish a telephone Support Line and compile a resource guide, all of which were accomplished the first year. Since then, we have added services and outgrown two offices.

BCSS believes that sharing one’s feelings and discovering that they are normal and felt by others can be one of the most powerful forces for emotional healing. An individual’s fears can be overcome by participating in a group, as one’s own courage is strengthened by the courage of others.

 

Diversity & Inclusion

Breast Cancer Support Services of Berks County board of directors, staff, and volunteers, affirm our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and consider them essential elements of a vibrant survivors’ community and integral to our mission. We are determined to foster an environment of inclusion, diversity, openness, and respect for the many differences that will enrich the BCSS community, including race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, socioeconomic status, national origin, language, sexual orientation, and physical ability. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are welcome and heard.

To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equality, Breast Cancer Support Services strives to:

  • See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the wellbeing of our staff, volunteers, and the survivor community that we serve.
  • Acknowledge and eradicate any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services while continually updating and reporting organization progress.
  • Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systematic inequities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.
  • Help to challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader at our organization, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.
  • Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.
  • Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, committee and advisory bodies.
  • Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all employees and volunteers to embrace this notion and to express it in all organizational interactions and through every day practices.

Breast Cancer Support Services abides by the following action items to help promote diversity and inclusion in our workplace:

  • Pursue cultural competency throughout our organization by creating substantive learning opportunities and formal, transparent policies.
  • Pool resources and expand offerings for underrepresented populations by connecting with other organizations committed to diversity and inclusion efforts.
  • Create and implement programs based on our awareness of cultural differences and treat all survivors with respect.
  • Ensure that our commitment to inclusiveness is evident in our organizational policies and procedures, as part of our strategic plan, and within our organizational goals.
  • Pledge that recruitment and hiring practices reflect a commitment to the value of inclusion. Foster a workplace that respects each individual, seeks and values diverse perspectives, and ensures each employee can actively contribute to fulfilling the organization’s mission.
  • Share our commitment to inclusion as a core value and practice with current and prospective donors and encourage donors to consider and embrace these values.

Our Board of Directors

President: Debbie Lessie

Vice President: Georgette Dukes McAllister

Secretary: Tamara Smith

Executive Director: Michele M. Reinert, CFRE

• Tammy Dahms

• Leslie Fessler

• Matthew Flannery

• Jessica Heffner

• Anne McLendon, MD

• Nina Rowley

• Nikki Snyder

• Denise Strohmayr

• Erin Vida