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Release Date: 09/15/2016

More than 500 swimmers of all ages and skill levels participated in the seventh annual Swim Across America fundraising swim at Roger Wheeler State Beach in Narragansett this month, raising more than $158,000 for cancer research at Women & Infants Hospital, a Care New England hospital.

“I feel very fortunate to have been part of the first Swim in 2010, and to watch it grow into such an inspirational and compassionate event over these past seven years,” says Paul Di Silvestro, MD, interim director, Program in Women’s Oncology at Women & Infants.

“Our partnership with Swim Across America has resulted in major advancements in ovarian cancer research – funding that helps us to advance science and, more importantly, train young physician scientists and basic scientists for our future,” continues Dr. Di Silvestro, who also leads research on women’s oncology at Women & Infants.

The swim is organized by Swim Across America, a national organization dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment.

College swim teams from across the region – including Providence College, University of Connecticut, Bryant University, Brown University, Roger Williams University, University of Rhode Island, Assumption College, Boston University and Holy Cross – attended, creating one of the largest groups of college athletes in an open-water swim in the country. Providence College was the top fundraising school; top individual fundraiser this year was Walker Hill who raised $5,000.

Sponsors of the event included Amica; Dunkin Donuts; Go Swim; Swim Outlet; United Healthcare; WJAR-Channel 10; and Women & Infants Hospital’s Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Program in Women’s Oncology/Breast Health Center.

Swim Across America

Pictured from left to right are: Mark R. Marcantano, president and chief operating officer at Women & Infants Hospital; Dr. Maureen Phipps, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Women & Infants Hospital and Care New England; and Dr. Paul DiSilvestro, interim director of the Program in Women’s Oncology at Women & Infants Hospital. (Photo credit: Matthew Healey)

Swim Across America
Providence College professor and breast cancer survivor Ann Kelley, pictured here surrounded by PC swimmers, spoke about her experience with cancer and her treatment at Women & Infants’ Program in Women’s Oncology. (Photo credit: Matthew Healey)

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About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 9th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
Women & Infants Hospital News


Amy Blustein
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