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T15/23 The Heroines Choir for Cancer Survivors

Their Story Matters with Sara Troy and her guests Alice Billman  Vicki Tashman and Marilyn Van Houten aired from June 9th on.

Cancer has become commonplace today, and we know that stress, DNA, chemicals are causing it, but who do you turn to for support when your’e going through it? You join a choir.



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THE HEROINES CHOIR improves the mind, body and spirit of breast cancer victors and their supporters while inspiring audiences through the healing art of chorale.  

Professional Bunhead from NYC, travelled abroad extensively via her art form and escaped the limitations of her neighbourhood, family, culture and socioeconomic predisposition at an early age.  Having first-hand knowledge about the power of transformation through the arts, Alice, used her training to create opportunities for others to have similar experiences. She founded her non-profit agency, Heroes Unite in 1990 as a response to the community need in Miami due to the lack of services and resources for underserved populations ranging from the HIV populations, terminally ill children, families of domestic abuse, underserved youth, poverty-stricken, oncology patients and most recently breast cancer victors. With a strong theatre background, using the arts as a viable method for empowerment was a natural fit. From the first organic community garden in North Miami to Mobile Micro Theater all offerings under Heroes Unite result in high scoring measurable outcomes delivered with patience, mindfulness and humanism.  Over the course of the past 25 years in Miami, we have served thousands of people discover the bounty within via programs, events and projects all based in a variety of well managed, professional arts offerings.

Arts 4 Healing is yet another free contribution to the Miami community to fuse the medical and arts communities in sharing proven tools to for anyone seeking enhanced wellness.


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Contact: Alice Billman


Marilyn Van Houten RN MS CDMS CCM

Marilyn Van Houten is a Registered Nurse with 46 years of nursing & administrative experience.  She has owned a case management company, Rehab Case Management, for 27 yrs and has been very interested in the rehabilitation of breast cancer survivors, assisting them to become “thrivers” not just survivors through choral music and the camaraderie of the Heroines Choir.

She is a past President of the local Case Management Society of America as well as National Board of Directors.  She was awarded the “Case Manager of the Yr Award” by the local CMSA chapter for her advocacy of breast cancer patients.  Currently, she is serving on the PFAC (Patient Family Advisory Council) of the Baptist Hospital Breast Center.  She also served on the patient advisory committee for Baptist Hospital new Comprehensive Cancer Center assisting with the design of the planned structure.
As a nationally certified Case Manager and Certified Disability Management Specialist, she is aware of the importance of assisting those who have faced potentially life-threatening illnesses.

The current medical community has little to offer breast cancer survivors in terms of “what’s next” after treatment ends.  Through Marilyn’s contacts in the community, we have formed a partnership with Your Bosom Buddies, assisting us with our rehearsal space & a stage.  As the Coordinator for Buddie for You, matching up trained mentors with newly diagnosed, she has recruited new choir members as well as many of those she is personally mentoring.

Through her personal, educational and management background Marilyn has been instrumental in developing goals, measurable outcomes, and identification of important partners such as the University of Miami, HealthSouth Rehabilitation & Baptist Hospital Breast Center.


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