Free Screening Program
Free Screening Mammography Outreach Program Makes An Impact
Since the inception of the Ellen Shaw de Paredes Breast Cancer Foundation in 2005, one of the most critical objectives has been to provide free screening mammograms to the underserved, potentially saving lives through the early detection of breast cancer. While this was the basic premise, diagnostic as well as interventional studies were provided free of charge as needed. If a patient required care beyond this, Dr. Paredes diligently followed up to make the necessary arrangements. Until 2010, this program was completely supported through the generosity of private donors and so many lives were positively impacted.
In 2010 and again in 2012 the Foundation was the privileged recipient of major funding from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure – Central Virginia Affiliate. This funding allowed the expansion of the program to provide care beyond the previous limitations. Through a partnership with Bon Secours Health System, the Paredes Institute for Women’s Imaging and the Ellen Shaw de Paredes Foundation, both asymptomatic as well as patients with symptoms are seen. These patients, who have been financially screened by the Daily Planet, the Center for High Blood Pressure, or various other free clinics, are ensured that treatment beyond that received will be provided through the auspices of Access Now, a physician based volunteer service run by the Richmond Academy of Medicine. Through the Susan G. Komen Grant, the existing free-screening program, which the Ellen Shaw de Paredes Breast Cancer Foundation has supported, will reach even more underserved women in our communities.
As this is a very unique program by providing care for symptomatic women in addition to offering free screenings, the start-up process was slow. Not only did we have to coordinate our efforts with the free clinics in the area, but we also had to establish a precise method of handling each patient’s needs to ensure that complete care was provided. In order to qualify for treatment through Access Now, patients are required to be financially screened and have an established medical home base. We have 22 participating medical home bases, including the Daily Planet, the Goochland Free Clinic, the Center for High Blood Pressure, and numerous health departments and have thus far provided over 300 patients with mammograms and/or diagnostic or interventional studies. The program has gained in momentum and will continue to do so as the need increases, and is only possible through the collaborative efforts and generosity of the many partners that we have.
The impact of this collaboration is truly felt when the patients arrive for their appointments. For many, this is their first exposure to a mammogram and they arrive apprehensively, but proudly. They exude such genuine appreciation for this opportunity and express heartfelt thanks to all involved. This has made a difference in their lives, not only from a medical standpoint, but also on a more emotional level, letting them know that they are important and have not been forgotten.
About Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and the Komen Richmond Affiliate
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever, and in 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The Richmond Affiliate is part of the world’s largest and most progressive grassroots network fighting breast cancer. Through events like the Komen Richmond Race for the Cure, the Richmond Affiliate has invested over $2.6 million in community breast cancer programs in 74 counties and cities in central Virginia. Up to 75 percent of net proceeds generated by the Affiliate stays in central Virginia. The remaining 25 percent funds national breast cancer research. For more information, call 804-358-7223 or visit www.komenrichmond.org.
Linda Tiller – Richmond Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, 804-358-7223, email@example.com
Stephanie Rochon, news anchor at CBS 6 and Board of Directors member of the Ellen Shaw de Paredes Breast Cancer Foundation.
I am the daughter of an 11 year breast cancer survivor. The same year my mother was diagnosed, my husband and I moved to Richmond. My boss at CBS 6 had no idea my mother was a survivor when he told me he wanted to launch a brand new franchise for the newscast that would focus on breast cancer awareness. That franchise is called Buddy Check 6. The idea was on the sixth of each month we would produce a report that would give women important breast health information. In 2010, I marked my 11th year of producing those reports. It is one of the proudest achievements in my broadcasting career. The high point? Four years after we launched the reports, a woman named Talna Pettigrew called to tell me one of my reports saved her life. She had no health insurance and couldn’t afford a mammogram. She had watched my report on Every Woman’s Life, a program that helps women in her situation get screened. She was diagnosed with cancer, treated and survived. We’ve heard from many Talna Pettigrew’s over the years who have said they’ve enjoyed our Buddy Check 6 reports. It’s called Buddy Check because we ask women to pick a buddy, a co-worker, friend, or relative and encourage them to get their mammogram. And follow-up to make sure they do it. These reports are a testament to the power of television to help people, something we strive to do every day on CBS 6.
Op / Ed Richmond Times – 11.24.09_RTD_Op-Ed_article
Please visit the WTVR Buddy Check 6 website for more breast cancer stories by Stephanie Rochon.