Every day, throughout our 17-county Missouri/Illinois service area, Komen St. Louis community grants are making a difference in the lives of women, men and families facing a breast cancer diagnosis.
“Our Komen St. Louis-funded program is essential to our ability to provide breast cancer screening services to residents who otherwise would not have access to them,” says Amy Yeager, Health Promotion Manager at Madison County Health Department. “It helps ease fears, creates routines, educates and saves lives.”
Ten years ago, with Komen St. Louis funding, Madison County Health Department established its Bridging the Screening Gap program to help screen low-income women who would not be covered by the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP). After the first year, Komen funding also covered outreach and education, in addition to more screenings.
“Collectively, these outreach and education efforts enhanced our screening services by helping to find, reach and recruit women and men to receive screenings, as well as increase the awareness and knowledge of residents about breast health,” says Amy.
Bridging the Screening Gap generates awareness of the importance of breast health screening and the availability of screening services, while also providing screening and diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasounds and exams to uninsured and underserved people in Madison County. This is the tenth year of Komen St. Louis funding for this program.
“Funding from Komen St. Louis is vital to our ability to provide our citizens with breast health services,” says Amy. “Although we receive funding from the IBCCP through the Illinois Department of Health, there are restrictions on who that funding covers; it still leaves gaps in access to services for women of certain ages, income levels, and insurance coverage, and it does not cover services for men. The Komen St. Louis funds fill those gaps for us in Madison County.”
In 2012, Komen St. Louis granted nearly $3.1 million to 25 local breast health programs in our 17-county Missouri/Illinois service area, including the Bridging the Screening Gap program at Madison County Health Department. 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.