mammograms still available
St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics is midway through their second Komen for the Cure grant. The grant provides for 40 free mammograms and 100 no cost wellness exams for female residents of Idaho County between the ages of 18 and 49 who have not had a mammogram or exam within the past year and are underinsured or uninsured.
“We have had a very good response to this grant and our first Komen grant. Many women have taken advantage of the free offerings. We want women to know we are still offering these services at no cost to them if they qualify,” said Stephanie Wagner, SMH Clinics Coordinator. “Anyone with any questions is encouraged to call our clinics. We’ll work with women to see if they qualify for the grant funds and to identify other options if they don’t. We’re also asking that women share this information with their mothers, daughters, friends and neighbors. We’d hate to have someone miss this opportunity because they weren’t aware of it.”
Over 120 women were served during the initial Komen for the Cure grant which was awarded to SMHC by the Boise Affiliate of the Susan B. Komen for the Cure Foundation. Women seen through that first grant are welcome back for another exam if they remain under or uninsured. A portion of the funds are also set aside for transportation and treatment costs.
The grant also covered the costs of the two recent ‘Ladies Night Out’ evening programs. Two additional events are scheduled. A Hawaiian Ladies Only Luau is scheduled for Tuesday, July 27 and the final program is slated for Wednesday, October 6. All women are invited.
“We’ve had a great time at our Ladies Night Out programs. We have a relaxed setting with refreshments, goodie bags, chair massages, raffle prizes and health information. Our last event featured information and prizes relating to women and exercise. Our next focuses on summer fun with a luau theme,” said Wagner. “We have our female providers scheduled for that evening to do private wellness exams, answer questions and schedule mammograms. It’s a fun way to grab a friend or two and cross your female exam off your ‘to do’ list.”
Appointments must be made in advance for that evening’s female exams. Participants’ payment methods for the exams are strictly confidential. Arrangements for insurance or Komen payments are made in private. Appointments are scheduled through the Cottonwood Medical Clinic, 962-3267.
According to Wagner, women who would like a no cost wellness exam and mammogram can either come to the functions or can simply call any of the SMH clinics in Cottonwood, Kamiah, Nezperce or Craigmont to schedule an appointment.
“I may sound like a broken record when I say that one in eight American women will experience breast cancer in her life time, but it’s a statistic women should remember,” said Shari Kuther, RN, SMH Clinics Nursing Manager. “Often women get too busy to schedule time for themselves to have their regular wellness exams and their mammograms. Our health care providers will discuss the recommended frequency of a mammogram based on a woman’s health history, age and other factors.”
SMHC is also partnering with Public Health North Central District. They 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 General Hospital and Clinics, the Grangeville American Cancer Society Cancer Resource Center, St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center and McCall Memorial Hospital.