Your Dollars, Making an Impact: “Partners in Pink” & Screening and Education for Underserved Women in Clark County

Ever wonder how your donation dollars help? Where does the money go and who does it directly help? Komen Columbus has a proud tradition of partnering with many organizations to help men and women who are underserved and uninsured in our 30-county service area. This year alone, we granted nearly $2 million to support 34 programs in Central and Southeastern Ohio communities. This milestone moment would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors, Race participants and all those people who give to Komen Columbus. For the next 20 weeks, we will feature our grantees so you can see and read how your dollars are making an impact.

This year, Komen Columbus hit a milestone.

For the first time ever in our 19 year history, we were able to grant funds to 34 programs in our 30-county service area. Those programs will provide thousands of women and men with vital breast health education, screening and treatment services throughout the year.

Two of the grants given were to two new programs that specifically target underinsured or uninsured women in their communities.

The Fayette County Memorial Hospital “Partners in Pink” Mammography Program, along with The Community Mercy Foundation Screening and Education for Underserved Women in Clark County, both aim to address the barriers that usually prevent women from scheduling their mammograms. This could include lack of childcare, transportation issues and no insurance.

Fayette County Memorial Hospital “Partners in Pink” Mammography Program

Fayette County has one of the highest breast cancer mortality rates in all of Ohio – that’s a statistic that Monica Olive, Debbie Boggs, Kim Young and others wanted to change in their community.

“We are the only organization in Fayette County providing a program that includes early detection services such as outreach, education, screening, diagnostics and patient navigation. Funding from Komen has allowed our program to not only exist, but thrive,” said Olive.

“Our Komen grant money has allowed us to begin the Partners in Pink program and collaborate with other local agencies to bring a wide range of services to our county. We have worked closely with several non-profit community service groups so that we can provide additional avenues of support, such as transportation and ongoing education for clients.”

Operating for only the past six months, Partners in Pink is already a success. One of the first women seen through the program had run into hard times. Her husband had lost his job and they had no health insurance. The woman, who always made sure to schedule her mammogram, was going to bypass it this year because of financial hardship. Instead, she called Partners in Pink and they paid for her screening mammogram. The screening showed am abnormal reading and she went on to have a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound – all paid for through the program and partnerships of other community organizations. Fortunately, the “abnormal reading” was not cancer.

“What we gave this woman was some peace of mind,” said Olive.

“We see the impact of Komen dollars every day on women and men in Fayette County. We have been told countless times by program recipients that our program was the only reason they were able to receive their mammogram.”

The Community Mercy Foundation Screening and Education for Underserved Women in Clark County

In recent years, Clark County has faced high unemployment with several businesses closing their doors in 2009 and some area manufacturer workers being laid off, but the area is in the middle of a slow recovery.

Still, many families are left with little-to-no insurance to cover basic checkups and preventative services.

“We noticed women were not getting mammograms,” said Ruth Woosley, director of Imaging Services at Community Mercy Foundation. “When we spoke to community leaders and church leaders, they were told by people in the community they did not have the means to pay and that there were also childcare issues and transportation challenges.”

Woosley, along with others, wanted to come up with a program that took the “excuses” out of the equation and focused on solutions.

The Screening and Education for Underserved Women in Clark County program provides free mammograms and onsite child care while the women have their tests done.

The program currently partners with the Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati to “rent” their mobile mammography van. The program also works with with two African American churches; St. John Baptist Church and the New Covenant Temple COGIC, which helps provide childcare while the women undergo screening and breast health education.

“The underserved women of Clark County benefit tremendously from this program. Through the generosity of Komen Columbus benefactors, we provide a mobile mammography and breast health program to women. It’s about early detection and education and this grant allow us to address both,” said Woosley.

As a new Komen Columbus grantee, Woosley hopes to expand the program to help more women in her community. The program has already held one event and several others are scheduled:
•    St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 34 West Pleasant, Springfield
Sunday, September 9 from 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, October 11 from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

•    New Covenant Temple COGIC, 1757 Clay St., Springfield
Sunday, November 11 from 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 pm.

Interested in seeing if you’re eligible for this program? Call 1-855-746-5123 to schedule an appointment.

Learn more about what the Fayette County Memorial Hospital “Partners in Pink” Program and Community Mercy Foundation Screening and Education for Underserved Women in Clark County do in our community.