Sharon Lerman, an oncology social worker at Northwell's Cancer Institute...

Sharon Lerman, an oncology social worker at Northwell's Cancer Institute in Lake Success, explains Sharsheret resources available to a patient.  Credit: Northwell Health

Sharsheret, a national not-for-profit that lends support to women and families of Jewish background dealing with breast and ovarian cancer, has announced a partnership with Northwell Health.

As part of the partnership, Sharsheret will offer free makeup kits that address the hair-loss and skin side effects of treatment, as well as boxes of toys and games for parents facing cancer while raising young children.

New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health said it treats nearly 3,000 new metro-area patients for breast or ovarian cancer each year.

Sharsheret said that while it focuses on Jewish cancer patients, about 15 percent of those they support are not Jewish. 

Northwell said all new patients, not just Jewish ones, will be offered the support.

Sharsheret will also give new Northwell patients what it calls Thriving Again survivorship kits, which are resource packets for newly diagnosed patients.

The resources will be introduced to patients through co-branded cards and referral forms distributed to patients.

In addition, Sharsheret staff will be on site at Northwell Health cancer centers to provide support as needed for patients and caregivers on a monthly basis.

Northwell Health is the largest private employer in New York, with 69,000 employees.

Teaneck, New Jersey-based Sharsheret has five offices and serves 150,000 women, families, health care professionals, community leaders and students nationwide.

Sharsheret said  Jewish women and families facing breast cancer and ovarian cancer have unique health concerns. One in 40 Jews of Ashkenazi descent carries a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, compared to 1 in 500 in the general population. The mutation increases the likelihood of developing breast, ovarian and related cancers. 

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