In the past year, nearly 400 uninsured or underinsured women have been served through the Protecting and Healing Women program at Christian Hospital with the help of Komen St. Louis funding. The program is providing women in need with screening mammograms and patient navigation to guide them throughout testing and treatment.
“There’s a need for it. There are so many women falling through the cracks,” says Patricia Polk, Outreach Coordinator at Christian Hospital. “We have had two women within the last six months diagnosed with breast cancer who would not have been helped without this program.”
These women have been so impacted by the program that they go on to tell friends and coworkers about it. This generates an awareness of breast cancer in the community. With the support of a strong outreach staff, Patricia is able to back up the program’s word-of-mouth promotion with professional service and care.
“If I can save one life, I would have done my job,” says Patricia. “My vision is to see the program grow.”
The program is heavily invested in the community, with a focus on reaching out to women facing hardships such as unemployment and lack of transportation or child care. Patricia and her outreach staff also help navigate patients through the process of additional testing and treatment as needed. This is the fifth year of Komen St. Louis funding for the Protecting and Healing Women program.
“It gives me great honor and great pleasure to help these women,” says Patricia. “I don’t even want to begin to think of what would happen to those two women who have been diagnosed. There are so many more women to reach. The program is helping tremendously.”
In 2012, Komen St. Louis granted nearly $3.1 million to local breast health programs in our 17-county Missouri/Illinois service area, including the Protecting and Healing Women program at Christian Hospital. These grants help fund breast health and breast cancer screening, treatment, education and support services for those in our community who otherwise may not have access due to low income, lack of insurance or other barriers.