Your Dollars, Making an Impact: Genesis Breast Health Initiative

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 few weeks, we will feature our grantees so you can see and read how your dollars are making an impact.

Guest Writer: Molly Osmon

Komen Columbus consistently focuses on providing the necessary funds to programs that provide services to women who would otherwise not have quality access to breast health education and screening services.

As a result, since 2006, Komen Columbus has awarded a grant to the Genesis Breast Health Initiative. GBHI serves the uninsured and underinsured women of Morgan, Muskingum, Perry and surrounding counties. The program provides breast health education, screening services and surgical consultation to women. In addition, the program also provides a small stipend to participating women to cover travel costs; and it is also the only program that provides digital mammography. GBHI is the only program in the area that provides these services. The program is offered through the Genesis HealthCare System. The Genesis Healthcare System is the premier source for both primary and secondary care in the Zanesville, Ohio and surrounding areas. Altogether, Genesis Healthcare System serves six counties and more than 250,000 people.

Before GBHI, there was not an existing means to provide screening and education services to women without health insurance in this area. According to the 2011 Komen Columbus Community Profile Report of these counties, the demographics of uninsured women were astounding.
•    Morgan County, 26.7 percent of women were uninsured.
•    Muskingum, 17.2 percent of women;
•    Perry, 13.5 percent of women were uninsured.

Due to their uninsured and underinsured status, many women do not have the financial means to obtain annual physical exams, therefore are unaware of the importance of breast health screening. However, the GBHI program is able to educate these women and increase the number of women who are screened annually regardless of their coverage status.

GBHI provides services to all women referred, but the cost of service is based on 300 percent of the poverty level. GBHI establishes a payment plan relative to the woman’s income. In addition, if an area of concern is found on the screening, further treatment services are available through Genesis HealthCare System with financial assistance provided by the Health Care Assurance Program.

Your donations to Komen are continuing to fund GBHI. Since 2006, GBHI has served more than 1,000 women. The grant awarded to GBHI from Komen allows the program to grow and for it to serve even more women.

According to Denise Gebhart, grant administrator for GBHI, the women who receive services from GBHI couldn’t be more appreciative.

“Many times they say ‘may God bless you’, sometimes with tears in their eyes, when provided with the news the grant will cover their mammogram service.  It pleases me to be able to tell them we are very fortunate to be a recipient of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure funds in our area,” says Gebhart.

For a complete list of all our Komen Columbus grantees and the services and programs they provide, click here. Read about other Komen Columbus Community Health Grantees here.