Representatives from WCPI and River Park Hospital recently accepted a Susan G. Komen grant for $13,311 to continue funding their “One Woman. One Life. One Difference” breast cancer awareness, education and free mammogram program.
This is the third year for WCPI and River Park to receive grant money from the Upper Cumberland Komen affiliate and the partners are expecting this to be the biggest year for the program.
“Over the past two years, we’ve been able to give out around 125 free mammograms and have educated hundreds of community members through the program,” said project coordinator Ashley Wright. “This year we’ve requested enough funds for 90 mammograms and two special community events in the fall to promote breast cancer awareness.”
Program goals are to create breast cancer awareness, to encourage all women to get yearly mammograms, and to provide free breast screenings and diagnostic services to underserved women in the community.
Through March 2012, WCPI will be providing breast health education in the form of public service announcements and “Focus on Your Health” radio segments. Additionally, River Park Hospital will provide 90 free mammograms to uninsured and underinsured women between the ages of 40 and 65 who are living in the Upper Cumberland and meet other program guidelines.
“At the Komen Upper Cumberland Affiliate, we conducted a needs assessment of our community and discovered a need for affordable access to mammograms and breast health education,” said affiliate president Eileen Stuber. “We are confident the River Park and WCPI program has made an impact and will continue to make a difference for years to come.”
Studies have shown women in the Upper Cumberland are less likely than average American women to have a mammogram and the average stage at diagnosis in the Upper Cumberland is later than the rest of the state or nation. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Warren County had the second highest breast-cancer-related mortality rate of all Tennessee counties between 2000 and 2004 at 36.4 deaths per 100,000, which is higher than both national and state averages.
“Early detection is key in the fight against this disease because breast cancer detected in its earliest stage is very curable. Annual screenings beginning at age 40 are one of the best ways to protect against the disease,” says Wright.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest breast cancer organization. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure or any of the 2011 grantees, please visit www.komenuppercumberland.org.
To learn more about the local program or its guidelines and to schedule your appointment call the Radiology Department at River Park Hospital at (931) 815-4485 Monday through Friday. To qualify, applicants must be able to show proof of income and proof of residency. Family history or a pre-existing condition is not required.