The concept of giving back is a priority in Connie Dwyer’s life with philanthropy serving as the mechanism that motivates and guides her path. During her own breast cancer treatment, Connie met women that had to take buses to and from treatment, hold down more than one job and support their families. The realization of how fortunate she was, became the motivator for Connie not only to help, but to become a part of a solution.
As a former school teacher, Connie had no previous experience with fundraising. With unstoppable determination and support from her husband Bob and three daughters, Connie began laying the groundwork for what would become a life goal.
How it began
Compassion and steadfast resolve were the catalysts for Connie Dwyer’s quest to support uninsured, underinsured and low income women without access to critical care.
Starting simply with a reception in her home, Connie worked tirelessly to create awareness and raise funds. Her goal was to partner with a hospital and create a breast center.
First Success: Connie Dwyer Breast Center at Saint Michael’s
Working in conjunction with Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey, Connie channeled her efforts toward developing a breast center that would serve the community by providing outstanding care to all women regardless of their financial status.
The Connie Dwyer Breast Center became a reality when it opened its doors in 2005. This comprehensive, modern facility that bears her name provided expert diagnosis and treatment of breast disease and the finest breast cancer prevention, early detection, and educational outreach programs in northern New Jersey. Under Connie Dwyer’s advocacy, the issue of breast cancer was addressed on multiple fronts; meeting the need for advanced breast care with cutting edge screening, diagnostic equipment and community outreach.
An Extraordinary Fifteen Years
Through the years Connie Dwyer and her team raised fifteen million dollars to create a state-of-the-art Breast Center. 2020 marks the 15th anniversary of the first Connie Dwyer Breast Center at Saint Michaels.
In 2018, CDBCF opened its second Connie Dwyer Breast Center at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth New Jersey. The foundation continues to support the center by providing funds to purchase state of the art equipment so they can ensure the best care and education to women regardless of their income.
Connie has been honored by numerous organizations including Trinitas Health Foundation, Archdiocese of Newark, Saint Michaels Foundation, Susan G. Komen North Jersey Affiliate, and the Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills with their Women of Vision Award. She is also a member of the Overlook Hospital Auxiliary.