go to B H I, U S A go to B H I, U K go to B H I, Italy go to B H I, Germany The original Breast Health Institute was founded in 1990, at a time when there was a major need for new efforts to create awareness and provide education about breast cancer and to augment the then-limited availability of research resources. Thanks to organizations such as BHI, which ignite fires under private businesses and public sponsorship agencies, so much has been accomplished in each of these areas. The progress has been exceptional, and we are privileged to be playing a major role in the way physicians think about and treat breast cancer.

The unique consensus conferences that we have sponsored, along with the publication of the proceedings, have influenced the manner in which breast cancer is being treated throughout the world. Six such conferences have been held every other year since 1997. Each has brought together about 30 of the world's most renowned breast cancer specialists to debate and discuss a controversial topic in order to formulate guidelines that may be globally adopted to improve the care and outcome for breast cancer patients. The experts invited to these conferences come from across North America and Europe, but the guidelines promulgated by their discussions are aimed at breast cancer patients throughout the world. Disease does not recognize geographical or political boundaries.

In response to suggestions made by our breast experts abroad, we have also directed our attention to the plight of European women with breast cancer, where there is a general lack of awareness about breast cancer and the need for early detection. In many areas the resources available for breast cancer research are limited. We have responded to this challenge by opening an office in the United Kingdom and raising funds in not only the UK, but also in Italy and Germany.

Our European chapter has already awarded its first research grant to Professor Umberto Veronesi of Milan, Italy, for his studies on an innovative technique that delivers radiation therapy to the breast. We have begun to implement our Fund for Living program in both the UK and Italy, providing patients with breast cancer services that are not covered by insurance. In concert with Donatella Versace we have awarded our initial international fellowship for an Asian surgeon to study breast disease with international experts, then to return home as a "super breast surgeon."

As we have expanded our focus to include other countries, it was fitting that we change our name to reflect the additional activities that have made us a global organization. Consequently, in 2006 the name of the Breast Health Institute was changed to Breast Health International, a division of the Foundation for Breast and Prostate Health.

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