receives $22,000 grant
St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics recently received a grant from the Boise Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. The $22,691 in grant funds will be used to educate area women about breast cancer and provide 150 wellness exams and 50 mammograms at no cost for uninsured and underinsured women. The project will target women aged 18 through 49 with a special emphasis on females between 40 and 49. Those receiving the free exams and mammograms must be residents of Idaho County.
“St. Mary’s is delighted to receive this grant because we understand the importance of educating women and giving eligible females an opportunity to have a wellness exam and mammogram. Between now and the end of the grant cycle in October, 2008, we’ll sponsor at least two community forums and design and circulate an informational display on breast cancer, “ said Jeanette Gorman, SMHC Community Relations Coordinator and Project Director. “SMHC is donating a portion of the cost of a wellness exam and coordinating the program. St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Phoenix Radiology and Pathologist’s Regional Lab are also contributing. We’re busy collecting materials and designing the outreach and will begin offering the program in early 2008.”
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization was founded 25 years ago in 1982 after founder, Nancy Brinker, promised her dying sister that she would do everything in her power to find a cure for breast cancer. Since then, over one billion dollars have been raised and distributed for research, education and health services.
Up to 75 percent of the net income from each Komen domestic Affiliate is dedicated to fighting breast cancer in that Affiliate’s community. The Boise Affiliate provides grants to organizations and hospitals within a 19 county area, including Idaho County. They focus their grants on providing services to medically underserved populations. According to their website, through events like the Komen Boise Race for the Cure, they have invested over $1.7 million since 1999 in breast cancer projects in their service area.
“The grant provides for a certain number of exams and mammograms, so when the funds are exhausted we will no longer be able to provide that service at no cost,” said Gorman. “However, the education component will continue throughout the grant year and beyond.” Megan Wilson, FNP, PNP, will be the presenter at two public forums on breast cancer in the spring.
“Many women and men participate in our local Relay for Life fundraisers. That money goes directly to the American Cancer Society for research and education. We appreciate and applaud their participation in those important fundraising activities,” said Pam McBride, SMHC Grants Coordinator. “It is gratifying to have so many organizations interested in breast cancer research and education. Hopefully, they’ll all work themselves out of a job when we eradicate breast cancer through research and awareness.”
One in eight American women will experience breast cancer in their lifetime. The earlier the disease is identified the more treatment options are available. A screening mammogram is recommended at age 40 or earlier if there is a family history of breast cancer. Eighty percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history.
“We’re anxious to begin the program,” said Gorman. “We’ll be advertising on the radio, in the newspaper and we rely on women to talk with their sisters, daughters, mothers and friends to encourage them to get a mammogram and a wellness exam.”