Larry Playfair, president of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association, announced a partnership with First Niagara, the Erie County Medical Center and WNY Breast Health that will provide women an opportunity to have breast examinations without having to travel outside their community.
The Partners have joined forces to purchase a $750,000, state-of-the-art bus that is equipment with mammography equipment.
“This is the first time a professional sports team has been involved in a project of this nature,” said Playfair. “This is a first-of-its kind project that will have a huge impact on our community.”
The bus will have two mammography units, be staffed with breast health professionals and provide ample space for private changing areas and confidential discussions.
“This is a great day for the women in our community,” said Jody Lomeo, CEO of ECMC. “The Sabres Alumni came to us and asked what they could do. Larry came up with an idea of vans to transport women to screenings and then we thought about taking the screenings to them.”
“We will go all across the region and provide screenings to women who might not have them done,” continued Lomeo.
“We are proud to be part of this unique and powerful project,” said John Koelmel, president and CEO of First Niagara. “It’s great to be partnering with the Sabres and the Alumni Association. They have a passion and commitment to Western New York.”
“It says a lot about a community when so many different organizations come together and launch something that will make a real difference for so many in the community,” said Cliff Benson, chief development officer for the Buffalo Sabres.
“These are the types of things we love to do,” said Benson, referring to the Sabres ownership. “Partnering with the community.”
The 45-foot bus will be ready to roll in about four months. According to Lomeo they are doing research on how the scheduling will be handled.
“I’m so excited that I can’t say enough about it,” said Jane Playfair. “The Alumni backed this project and I’m very pleased.”
“It makes my heart proud that so many have made it possible to give back to the community,” said Nancy Martin.
The hope of all the partners is that screening increases significantly in WNY. Early detection leads to early treatment and saved lives.
This year’s Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association’s Fall Wine Festival proceeds will benefit the Breast Cancer Prevention and Education Bus.