It was her own mother’s experience who inspired Susan Pories, MD, to pursue a career in breast cancer care. “This was at a time when breast reconstruction was not widely available,” says Pories, reflecting on her mother’s treatment for breast cancer. “The standard surgical treatment at the time was radical mastectomy. Having this procedure really took a toll on her.”
Today as Chief of Breast Surgical Services and Director of the Hoffman Breast Center at Mount Auburn Hospital, Pories has devoted her career to treating patients with breast cancer and has been an integral part of building the center since its founding. “You receive the exact same superior care here as you would receive at larger academic medical institutions because we follow all of the national guidelines and are fully accredited by the exacting standards of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC),” says Pories. “But what we have here that’s unique is highly individualized, coordinated care for each of our patients—and that’s because we’re a smaller organization.”
Accreditation is a designation awarded only to centers that offer the highest quality breast cancer care, and that are continually meeting or exceeding benchmarks for quality improvement and clinical trial participation. “When someone is diagnosed, we go above and beyond to coordinate their care plan very quickly, which helps them emotionally and psychologically,” says Pories, who understands the anxiety and vulnerability that patients can feel during this time.
Opportunities for growth
Despite the immense impact the Hoffman Breast Center has on patients, families, and the community at large, Pories sees the opportunity to advance. “We have a small space, but we hope to expand our footprint to have a bigger presence in the hospital, to ensure we can expand our offering and the number of patients we can treat,” says Pories.
Philanthropy has helped grow the center into what it is today, enabling the addition of innovative 3D imaging and biopsy equipment that allows the team to make diagnoses with unprecedented clarity. Gifts have supported research, clinical and educational initiatives, and patient advocacy programs—which help lower-income patients purchase groceries, wigs, and more.
“Sustainability is a priority of mine,” says Pories. “Philanthropy efforts are essential to shaping the future of breast care at Mount Auburn Hospital—ensuring the center maintains its level of excellence and at the same time, continues to advance.”
Bringing renowned authors together to give back
On June 8, 2022, the Hoffman Breast Center is hosting its largest philanthropic event of the year, Pink Pages: An evening with Alice Hoffman and your favorite authors. This virtual night of storytelling, emceed by Emmy award-winning arts and entertainment critic Joyce Kulhawik, will feature a never-before-heard ghost story from Stephen King, and personal stories and readings from authors Isabel Allende, Anthony Doerr, Ann Leary, Richard Russo, and Adriana Trigiani. In addition, famed comedian and actor Denis Leary will make a special appearance.
Launched in 2001 by Alice Hoffman, the annual event began as a way to help build Mount Auburn’s breast cancer resources. “I was first diagnosed at age 45, and the treatment I received at Mount Auburn was life-altering. I am eternally grateful to Dr. Susan Pories for her compassionate care,” says Hoffman, a New York Times best-selling author. “Pink Pages is a wonderful tradition that brings authors together to share their talents in support of a truly meaningful cause.” Over the years, Pink Pages has brought together 68 famous authors and raised more than $3 million to support the Hoffman Breast Center.
Pories looks forward to the event each year. “We’re exceptionally grateful for philanthropy, whether it is through the Pink Pages event or otherwise,” says Pories. “It’s impossible to thank our donors enough.”