The St. Clair County Health Department has provided breast cancer screenings to women in the Metro East for more than a decade.
“We are proud to have helped so many women have the peace of mind of knowing they do not have breast cancer,” says Kathy Weisenstein, outreach and prevention manager at St. Clair County Health Department. “We are also proud that we have helped many women get their breast cancer diagnosed so they could begin to get the treatment they needed.”
St. Clair County’s Wellness for Women program works in conjunction with the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program. During the current Komen St. Louis grant year, Wellness for Women is providing more than 200 screening mammograms for low-income, uninsured women and low-income women with high insurance deductibles. This is the 11th year of Komen St. Louis funding for St. Clair’s program.
“Our challenges have always been that we have to work within the constraints of our funding,” says Kathy. “In a perfect world, all women could get the screenings and treatment they need without the worry of how they will pay for it.”
While hundreds of screenings are done each year, more women need these services than can possibly be served.
“Komen St. Louis has been invaluable in getting the word out about the importance of breast cancer screenings,” says Kathy. “We always notice an increase in calls in June around the Race for the Cure and in October during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We value the funding from Komen St. Louis that allows us to provide more screenings to the women reaching out to us.”
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 St. Clair County Health Department’s Wellness for Women program. 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.