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 works closely with The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute to fund programs that provide thousands of women with breast health education, screening and treatment.
Among the programs Komen Columbus funds through the OSUCC is the Sister Screen Saver Program.
The Sister Screen Saver Program provides culturally competent on-site mobile mammography screening services at local community churches to educate African American women about breast cancer prevention and early detection.
The program is in its third year of Komen funding and sees more than 100 women annually. This particular program is unique because it provides culturally sensitive outreach, screening and patient navigation services to minority and underserved women in a place that is trusted in their community, the church. By building relationships with these women and the community, the program has been able to reach a 38 percent rescreen rate for all women in the program.
Sister Screen Saver is vitally important to the community it serves. The women in the program are generally uninsured or underinsured, and many of them are at a higher risk for breast cancer mortality. The Sister Screen Saver Program educates these women and encourages them to get mammography screening and removes the barriers for them to receive both screening and necessary follow up treatment.
Program Director, Chasity Cooper says if this program were not funded by Komen, it would not be able to offer free screenings and follow-up treatment to participating women. “With Komen funds, the program is able to do more than educate and provide awareness and referrals to other programs. With Komen funding, the program can give women an immediate option to take action and get screened.”
In the last three years, the Sister Screen Saver Program has diagnosed two cases of early stage breast cancer. Without a grant from Komen, these breast cancers would have probably gone undetected, and been found at a much later stage.
The women helped by the program couldn’t be more appreciative.
“The women that we provide services to via Komen grant funds are so grateful for the opportunity to take care of their health,” said Cooper, “When these women learn that a mammogram is being provided to them at no cost, this becomes one less barrier to health care, and they are extremely grateful.”