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The Financial Impact of Fighting Cancer

May 22, 2022 Posted in: Cancer Care  3 minute read time


Fighting cancer is expensive. On top of battling the disease, there are so many unforeseen costs for patients during their journey, such as transportation, medical bills and child care. This is why CHI Saint Joseph Health Foundations continuously work to relieve some of that financial burden for patients — so they can focus on getting well.

In 2020, an estimated 1.8 million new cancer cases were diagnosed in the U.S., according to the National Cancer Institute. This number is staggering, and the financial burden of the disease is a heavy price to pay. A recent Federal Reserve survey found nearly 40% of U.S. adults are unable to cover a $400 emergency bill with cash, savings or a credit card they could quickly pay off. So it’s easy to see how the added challenge of multiple hospital bills related to cancer care can be overwhelming for many people.

Through our recent Evening of Hope event, we were able to raise more than $370,000 across Kentucky for programs like Yes, Cerv! and Yes, Mamm! — initiatives that make a tangible difference for patients served by our cancer care programs.

Started in 2012 by the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundations, the Yes, Mamm! program provides free mammography screenings, diagnostic services and program support to uninsured and underinsured patients, offering everything from chemo caps to patient counseling.

During the past nine years, this program has served 2,850 patients and provided more than 6,600 breast care services and supplies. Patients have received medical services, such as screening and diagnostic mammograms, ultrasounds, X-rays, genetic testing and DigniCap scalp cooling; ancillary help, including support groups, lodging and transportation assistance; and cancer care items, including wigs and lymphedema garments. These patients no longer had to choose between paying for gas to get to the hospital or paying a medical bill.

Our Yes, Cerv! program advocates for cervical cancer awareness and promotes Pap smears, HPV vaccinations, free cervical cancer screenings, early-stage diagnoses and oncological pelvic treatment to eligible women. Kentucky has some of the highest rates of cervical cancer in the country, so this program is essential to help bring down these numbers and save lives.

Both of these programs are supported through ongoing fundraising efforts of the CHI Saint Joseph Health Foundations, the most recent of which was our Evening of Hope event. The fundraiser supports cancer care resources in Bardstown, Berea, Lexington, London and Mount Sterling, and directly benefits patients across all of the CHI Saint Joseph Health facilities.

We are making a difference in the lives of local cancer patients, and we couldn’t have the impact we do without your support. Together, we can continue to leave a lasting impact on patients with cancer, and the first step begins with philanthropy and giving. 

A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2021 print edition of Spirit of Health.

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Spirit of Health magazine's print edition is distributed quarterly and focuses on topics related to our CHI Saint Joseph Health purpose and values.