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MCH Foundation Receives Komen Grant to Fund Breast Cancer Services
March 12, 2010
“We are very excited about our partnership with the Madison County Hospital Foundation and the hospital’s Battelle Breast Care Center,” said Megan Knapke, MPH, Director of Community Outreach for The Columbus Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “As one of the counties in our service area with the highest rate of mortality from breast cancer, we prioritized funding for the women of Madison County this year and are excited about the opportunity to fund this new initiative.”
The goal of the initiative is to increase the number of women who regularly participate in breast-self exams, annual check-ups, and mammograms. Activities will include increasing education and awareness throughout the county, providing free breast screenings and transportation to services, and offering financial assistance to women who do not have health insurance or do not qualify for other assistance programs.
One of the services the grant will provide is a Breast Care Clinic. The Breast Care Clinic will provide breast exams and mammograms at no out-of-pocket cost for the patient. The first clinics will be held April 8 and 22, from 4 to 7 p.m. in The Battelle Breast Care Center. Although a physician’s order is not necessary, you must call 740-845-7100 to make an appointment.
“I encourage all Madison County women who are 35 or older and have not had an annual mammogram because of cost, to come to one of our clinics,” said Mitchell Spahn, MD, medical director of The Battelle Breast Care Center. “By providing services at no cost to you, there should be nothing holding you back from getting a mammogram.”
In addition to the free screenings and treatment services, the grant will fund an education and awareness campaign targeting Madison County women.
“Not only do we want to educate women in our county about availability of the breast care clinics, we also want them to know the importance of annual screenings and self-exams. Finding and treating breast cancer in its earliest stage offers a woman the best chance for survival,” said Foundation Director Flax who also happens to be a 20-year breast cancer survivor.
The Komen grant will cover a one year period from April 1, 2010 until March 31, 2011, and will allow MCH to continue to focus on lowering breast cancer mortality rates in Madison County.
In 2006, MCH became aware that the county had high breast cancer incidence and mortality rates. In reaction to this news, the MCH Foundation launched a $2 million Breast Cancer Initiative aimed at increasing education and awareness, expanding screening, diagnostic and treatment options, and establishing a Breast Cancer Endowment Fund to provide health care services to women who are un- or under-insured.
So far, funds from the initiative have been used by the Foundation to assist MCH in renovating space for The Battelle Breast Care Center, adding an RN Breast Care Specialist, and bringing the latest technology for diagnosing and treating breast cancer to Madison County, including breast MRI, digital mammography, sentinel node, and stereotactic biopsy capabilities.
While the MCH Foundation continues to work on the Breast Cancer Initiative, the Komen Grant will allow screening and treatment services for those in need to start immediately.
“Women in any area should know their risk for breast cancer and the importance of early detection — we trust that this program will make a significant impact by serving women throughout Madison county with education, screening and treatment services, and will ultimately save lives,” says Megan.