Komen grant awarded
St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics recently received their second Susan G. Komen for the Cure grant award from the Boise chapter of the nationwide organization. SMHC proposed a ‘With Our Friends’ program to attract all females to quarterly wellness ‘girl’s night out parties.’ The evening get togethers at their Cottonwood clinic will feature refreshments, free goody bags for attendees, door prizes, music and chair massages. In addition, SMHC health care providers will be available to perform female wellness exams in the clinic exam rooms. Appointments will be scheduled at the parties for mammograms at a later time.
The grant will provide free mammograms for 40 women and cover the cost of wellness exams for 100 women who are under or uninsured Idaho County residents. It will also pay transportation costs for treatment, when necessary.
“When planning the grant we tried to think of ways to entice women to come in for their annual exam,” said Shari Kuther, RN. “Women everywhere and especially rural women tend to put their family’s health before their own. They often don’t make appointments for wellness exams for fear they’ll receive bad news or feel they can’t afford it. This grant will cover the costs for wellness exams and mammograms and, if money is an issue, we work closely with the health department and other sources to locate any necessary treatment funds. Putting off an exam only makes matters worse because the earlier breast cancer is detected the better the outcome. In this case, no news is not necessarily good news.”
All women are welcome to the quarterly girls night out parties. Insurance will be billed for those covered and the grant will cover the cost for under or uninsured women. “Every thing will be kept strictly confidential,” said Stephanie Wagner, SMHC Clinics Manager. “Women can also make an appointment for a wellness exam at any of our four clinics if they would prefer. The idea behind the wellness parties is to encourage women to bring a friend, have an enjoyable evening and get an annual exam.”
Over 125 women were served through the last SMHC Komen for the Cure grant. Women seen through that grant are welcome back for another exam if they remain under or uninsured. Both grants are targeted for women aged 18-49.
SMHC will partner with North Central District Health Department. They also received a Komen for the Cure grant aimed at raising awareness about the importance of breast cancer screening. Grant funds will also be used for breast cancer screening services. Collaborating partners include SMHC, Syringa Hospital and Clinics, their cancer resource center, St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center and McCall Memorial Hospital.
“We’re looking forward to working with our partners, getting the word out about the importance of breast cancer screening and wellness exams, and helping women get the health care they need,” said Wagner. “We’ll be publicizing our wellness parties in the near future and, hopefully, women of all ages will participate.”
For more information or to make an appointment call the SMHC Cottonwood clinic, 962-3267 or their Kamiah Clinic 935-2585.