Woman to Woman
After being diagnosed with gynecologic cancer, the road ahead can seem uncertain. But we believe no one should have to face this diagnosis alone. The Woman to Woman program of The Mount Sinai Hospital offers help and hope throughout a person’s gynecologic cancer journey—whether they are newly diagnosed, a long-time survivor, experiencing a recurrence, or anywhere in between. With empathy and understanding, our program provides emotional, educational, financial, and practical support, while fostering self-advocacy, community, strength, and hope today and for the journey ahead. The program welcomes patients of all race/ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, cultural and religious backgrounds and all people living with disabilities. Woman to Woman holds out a helping hand, every step of the way.
Our Program Offerings
The program is managed by experienced social workers who collaborate closely with Mount Sinai's Division of Gynecologic Oncology and Social Work Services to support individuals who have been diagnosed with cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, vulvar, or other cancers. We connect patients in our program with resources and assistance specific to their situation. The program offers:
Peer-to-peer mentoring and emotional support: As the Chinese proverb says, “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.” Our mentoring program carefully matches survivor volunteers with individuals who are currently in treatment. Cancer survivors offer a unique source of comfort, encouragement, and information, and our specially-trained volunteers foster personal relationships that grow to include everything from emotional support to help navigating the health care system. Our volunteers connect with patients via phone, text, or email through all stages of the cancer journey: during hospitalization, through chemotherapy, and beyond treatment.
Support groups and virtual programs: We offer support groups and robust virtual programming to share a variety of practical resources, provide emotional support, and foster connection. Our monthly schedule includes guest speakers and discussion groups tailored to specific interests and backgrounds, with topics ranging from clinical trial participation to sex after cancer. Because we understand how different cancer journeys can be, we have a range of sub-groups for specific communities, including young persons, Latinos, LGBTQIA+ individuals, long-term survivors, newly-diagnosed individuals, those dealing with COVID-19 and cancer, those experiencing recurrences, and more. In addition, we also hold two reunions each year in the fall and spring and have an active Facebook group.
Patient financial assistance: Special funding is available for individuals facing financial challenges due to their diagnosis and treatment. Woman to Woman is proud to help patients pay for expenses associated with gynecological cancer, such as medical co-pays, transportation, rent, groceries, household bills, fertility preservation, mental health services, and more.
How We Started Out
Woman to Woman was founded at Mount Sinai in 2003 by Valerie Goldfein, an ovarian cancer survivor. As a patient, Valerie felt scared and alone and longed for a connection to someone who had survived the disease, knew first-hand what she was going through, and could provide her with hope. After she completed treatment and went into remission, Valerie worked with her Mount Sinai gynecologic oncologist, Peter Dottino, MD, as well as the Mount Sinai Department of Social Work and The Auxiliary Board at Mount Sinai to launch the program with the goal of lessening the isolation gynecologic cancer patients often feel and to bolster the spirits of those who might otherwise face treatment alone and scared. Valerie Goldfein passed away in 2022, and Woman to Woman continues to honor her legacy by providing survivors of gynecological cancer survivors with community, strength, and hope.
Woman to Woman has now expanded to dozens of sites throughout the country with funding and support from the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA).
Woman to Woman is completely funded by philanthropic donations. One hundred percent of your donation goes directly to supporting gynecologic cancer patients and survivors.