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ChristianaCare honors Copeland with Breast Center name

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ChristianaCare’s breast health treatment center will now be known as The Tatiana Copeland Breast Center at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute. | PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTIANACARE

CHRISTIANA – ChristianaCare announced Thursday that it has named its breast health treatment center The Tatiana Copeland Breast Center at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute in thanks for the sizable donations from the local philanthropist and former center patient.

Tatiana and Gerret Copeland, well-known philanthropists and business entrepreneurs who have ties to the famed du Pont family, have provided $2 million to the health system’s breast health efforts in recent years, including a $1.2 million gift in 2019 for breast cancer prevention and research for underrepresented women and $800,000 to fund the purchase of two 3D mammography units. As a result of their philanthropic leadership, the Graham Cancer Center was one of the first facilities in the nation to offer 3D mammography.

“ChristianaCare is deeply grateful to the Copelands for their generous support of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute,” Dr. Janice Nevin, ChristianaCare president and CEO, said in a statement. “They have made a tremendous difference in the lives of so many women in and around Delaware. We are deeply honored to name the Breast Center after Tatiana.”

Center director Dr. Nicholas Petrelli, Tatiana Copeland, ChristianaCare CEO Dr. Janice Nevin and Gerret Copeland celebrate the naming of the center in a private ceremony. | PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTIANACARE

In a private event celebrating the naming, Nevin read a personal letter from President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden that was sent to Tatiana about her support of the Breast Center. The couples have been friends for many years, with Biden presenting honorary degrees to them during the University of Delaware’s commencement ceremony in May and the president recently appointing Tatiana to serve on the board of the famed Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

“Tatiana is a woman with extraordinary vision and a compassionate heart,” the president wrote. “As a breast cancer survivor, she has taken her pain and turned it into purpose, ensuring that all those who come in for testing at the Breast Center will receive extraordinary care. She has put lifesaving and life-altering care within the reach of those who need it most. And through it all, she has pushed for progress, fought for patients and kept hope alive.”

Dr. Nicholas Petrelli, the medical director of the cancer center, said the couple “have a way of discovering a need and then making the impossible possible,” thanking them for helping to fund high-quality care for patients in the greater Delaware area.

In complimenting the Breast Center operations as a “nurturing hospital,” Tatiana Copeland commended the work of Peterelli and his team.

“As longtime Graham Cancer Center supporters and as a breast cancer survivor myself who received wonderful treatment here, we are confident our investment in the Breast Center will continue to enable women to receive the same care that I did,” she said in a statement. “We hope our support inspires others to join us in the fight against cancer.”

At the Tatiana Copeland Breast Center, radiologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, genetic counselors and support staff work to support patients, offerings services like 3D and digital mammography, dedicated breast MRI, breast ultrasound, minimally invasive breast biopsies, and the state’s first Center for Breast Reconstruction.

According to the Delaware Division of Public Health, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among women in Delaware and the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the state after lung cancer. The Graham Cancer Center conducts community outreach to educate women about the importance of breast cancer detection and early prevention, including specially designed programs for underrepresented communities, including Black, Latinx and Asian women.

The Copelands, who own Bouchaine Vineyards winery in California, have left a long mark of charitable support across their Delaware home, with their names attached to projects at the Grand Opera House, Delaware Art Museum, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, Brandywine Valley SPCA, and more. For their generosity and support, the state chamber of commerce awarded them the Marvel Cup in 2020.

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