The Arkansas Affiliate, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has awarded two grants totaling more than $160,000 to the St. Bernards Development Foundation for programs providing breast cancer services in Northeast Arkansas.
The BreastAssured VII project received a grant in the amount of $103,850 to provide breast health screening services at the St. Bernards Imaging Center for uninsured women between the ages of 16 and 90. It is designed to identify women who need services but have no insurance and to provide them with digital screening and other services..
Women eligible for help through the BreastAssured VII grant must live in one of 20 counties in Northeast Arkansas – Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Fulton, Greene, Independence, Jackson, Lawrence, Lee, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett, Prairie, Randolph, Sharp, St. Francis, White or Woodruff.
The grant will identify indigent women in need of services and provide them with digital screening and diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasounds and breast biopsies.
The St. Bernards Bringing Digital Mammography to Your Community program received $58,960 to be used to provide screening mammograms to uninsured low income women in an 18 county area in Northeast Arkansas. Counties covered by that grant are Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Fulton, Greene, Independence, Jackson, Lawrence, Lee, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett, Randolph, Sharp, St. Francis and Woodruff.
The grant is designed to help women overcome the barriers to obtaining annual screening mammograms by utilizing digital mammography services available on the St. Bernards Women’s Mobile Health Unit. Breast health education is a part of the program.
“Komen grants help St. Bernards provide services to women who otherwise would not have access to screening mammograms and other necessary follow-up services,” says Teresa Adams, director of women’s services at the St. Bernards Imaging Center.
“Mammography is one of the best methods of discovering breast cancer,” she stresses. “It is important to find breast cancer early, because the earlier you diagnose it, the more quickly you can start treatment. That quite simply makes for the best outcomes for women affected by the disease.”
Specially trained professionals utilize digital imaging systems for screening and diagnostic mammograms both at the St. Bernards Outpatient Imaging Center and aboard the St. Bernards Mobile Women’s Health Unit, a specially equipped 36-foot RV-type van which travels to clinic and industry sites to provide services to women throughout the region.
Digital mammography has advantages over standard film mammography for early detection in women under the age of 50, those with dense breasts and premenopausal or perimenopausal women and gives radiologists more options for evaluating suspicious findings.
St. Bernards has been able to expand breast health services because of funding received from Komen grants for more than 10 years. In turn, St. Bernards is a strong supporter of the Arkansas Affiliate, Komen for the Cure. Among local activities that directly support Komen are a summer style show known as Runway for the Cure, a large Pink Warrior team – one that typically has more than 600 members – that travels to Little Rock for the Arkansas Race for the Cure each October and the Arkansas Ride for the Cure, a recreational bicycle ride held in conjunction with the HMG Health & Fitness Expo in Jonesboro in the spring.
The Arkansas Affiliate, Susan G. Komen for the Cure recently awarded more than $1.2 million in grants to organizations across the state.