Executive Director/Founder, ALAS-WINGS
Judy, founder and Executive Director of Asociación Latina de Asistencia y Prevención del Cáncer de Mama (ALAS-Wings), is originally from Argentina. Bicultural and fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and English. Judy is a breast cancer survivor. Her true passion is affording Latina women with breast cancer health resources, survivorship programs and improving their chances for longevity as well as enhancing their quality of life. Judy’s joy is her two adult daughters.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Judy a speech therapist by training and Spanish language educator, reached out to other Latinas diagnosed with breast cancer and the Latino community by volunteering with Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization (formerly Breast Cancer Network of Strength™). She continued at Y-ME as the Latino Outreach Coordinator from 2007 to 2010. Judy’s mission was to provide breast health awareness programs to underserved Hispanic/Latina women with the objective of detecting cancer as early as possible. Judy provided cancer patients, survivors and their care-givers with access to mammograms, educational and support programs in Spanish. Mastectomy bras, prostheses and wigs were given at no cost for those who could not otherwise afford them.
Judy founded ALAS-Wings in 2011 as a non-profit organization with a mission to provide underserved Latinas diagnosed with breast cancer with support, education, and innovative programs designed to provide a broad platform of support and quality of life improvements. One of ALAS-Wings’ most innovative programs is “ALAS on Wheels-The Mobile Salon™” This program enhances self-esteem and physical appearance by providing bras, prostheses, wigs to the uninsured/underserved in the Latino community. Helping a woman feel good about herself after a lumpectomy or mastectomy, and the loss of hair are important components of treating the whole person. ALAS-Wings provides this program in partnership with several hospitals and organizations throughout the Chicagoland area.
Judy Guitelman’s desire for creating awareness and opportunities for more resources within the Latino community has led her to be involved in research. Judy is the community co-principal investigator of Breast Cancer Disparities in the Hispanic/Latina Community in Chicago. Working in partnership with Judith Abramson, MD, the academic co-PI at Northwestern University and funded by the Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities (ARCC) a component of the Community-Engaged Research Center (CERC) at Northwestern University’s Clinical and Translational Sciences (NUCATS) Institute. Judy is a consultant in partnership with the MAESTRA study, Managing Adverse Events and Symptoms with novel Technologies and Real-time Assessment of the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. The study seeks ways in which survivors can be supported using information technology and related supportive tools and devices. Judy is a consultant in partnership with the ESTOY LISTA study, Eliminating Stress, Tension & Overweight thru Yoga & Lifestyle Interventions – Survivors Taking Action, in partnership with the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine (OCIM) at Northwestern University. The benefits of yoga specific to breast cancer survivors will be measured through evaluations, biomarker assessments and blood pressure/BMI measurements.
Judy Guitelman is an advocate of Latinas faced with a breast cancer diagnoses and has been featured in “La Raza”, “Hoy”, “Selecciones”, “Saludify.com” and has appeared on Telemundo Chicago, Univision Chicago, Vida Mujer, CAN TV, Univision Radio, Radio Cosmos, La Ley Radio.
Awards and Recognition
-In October 2014, Ms. Guitelman received the Government’s Latino Heritage Award for “Excellence in Public Health Outreach” granted by The Illinois Department of Public Health and Governor Pat Quinn. She was nominated for this award by her peers from Logan Square Neighborhood Association
-In April 2016, Ms. Guitelman received the ARCC 2016 Community-Engaged Research Partnership Award in recognition of their “Exemplary Research Approach and Impact on the Health of Chicagoland”.
– In October 2021, Ms. Guitelmen received the “5th Annual Bridge Award for leadership in cancer and mental health equity”.