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Bates Foundation Breast Wellness Center to be a reality

PROMISES MADE, PROMISES KEPT. Barbara Bates, president of the Barbara Bates Foundation signs off on the final installment of the Foundation’s $500K pledge to fund the Barbara Bates Foundation Breast Wellness Center at Sinai Health System.

The Barbara Bates Foundation Meets $500k Commitment To Mount Sinai Hospital for Bates Foundation Breast Wellness Center to be a reality

Four years after committing to raise half a million dollars to fund a center where women of color could be afforded a warm, welcoming and beautiful space to receive information and mammograms, The Barbara Bates Foundation has crossed that ‘to do’ off their list a year ahead of time. Barbara Bates delivered the final installment of her $500K pledge at a reception at the Sinai Community Institute on Tuesday, December 2. The Foundation raised the remaining funds during their fourth annual “Knocking Out Breast Cancer” Fashion Show at Macy’s in October. The event drew a standing room only crowd, of more than 500, whose presence help solidify the fundraising for the Barbara Bates Foundation Breast Wellness Center at Sinai Health System.

Dr. Valentin, of Sinai’s Radiology Department, referenced Bates’ ‘fighting spirit’ that allowed her to overcome her own breast cancer and seek to help others fighting the same battle. Now, with the Foundation’s $500K gift Valentin noted that even more women coming to Sinai for treatment would be able to get mammograms or follow up on screenings.

Sinai’s “Helping Her Live” has educated 15,000 women on the importance of breast health and over the last year has done 10,143 screening mammograms between all their sites. Valentin concluded by saying “with your gift, you are helping us fight and we thank you.”

Bates is pioneering the movement to support breast cancer education for women of color through fashion. She took a ‘grassroots’ approach to meeting the commitment she made to Sinai in 2012 and the Foundation raised funds on the job, through special fundraising events like the “Walk Where You Live” 5K and by collecting spare change. Team members even worked for tips at local restaurants most, notably Truth Italian Restaurant on Pershing Rd.

“This is a happy occasion because even though we are talking about breast cancer, we are also talking about hope,” said Karen Teitelbaum, Sinai Health System president and CEO.

Sinai Urban Health Institute has documented that Black women in Chicago are 48% more likely to die from breast cancer compared to White women. “Your gift to Sinai Health System speaks to your dedication, compassion and grit. And of course, hope, ”Teitelbaum offered.

Asked about plans moving forward, Bates will work with Sinai to see the Wellness Center through to completion. “I’m open about what comes next,” she says, but I want to make sure the center is up and running for the community and I want to continue my relationship with Sinai. Bates says she is even considering taking her “fighting with fashion” event on the road but most important she wants to properly celebrate her 30 years in business in 2016.


Founded in 1999, the Barbara Bates Foundation is a philanthropic organization with a mission to raise funds for educating African American and Latino women on the early detection and treatment of breast cancer and to provide formal wear donations to inner-city high school students with difficult circumstances.

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