Flaget Memorial Hospital has been awarded a $50,817 grant from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Louisville Affiliate. This is the second sizeable Komen grant awarded to the Bardstown hospital’s breast health program, which received $36,935 in 2011.
Flaget was chosen as a grant recipient for a variety of reasons, according to Bobbi Harned, R.N., B.S.N., who was the major writer of the grant application.
“Flaget is the ideal candidate to receive funding, because the hospital has promoted women’s health in its service area with the additions of a state-of-the-art cancer center in 2010, and with cutting-edge technology such as digital mammography and stereotactic biopsies,” said Harned, who serves as director of the Flaget Cancer Center. “The Women’s Care of Bardstown practice was established in 2010 with the hiring of Dr. Amy Farrell, OB/GYN, and will grow in 2012 by hiring Dr. Hannah Hall, OB/GYN.”
It is of the utmost importance to provide the highest level of care and the largest array of prevention, treatment, and social support services, Harned said. Just as important, “women’s health resources need to be close to home. This project will have a substantial and positive impact on increasing the percentage of women who enter and progress through the continuum of care.”
The hospital’s Yes, Mamm! Breast Health Program (YMBHP) used the original grant funding to successfully increase the number of breast cancer screenings at Flaget by 321 last year. Over 40 uninsured or underinsured women received free clinical breast exams from medical provider volunteers at the October outreach screening event at the cancer center. Twenty-four of those women were referred for additional diagnostic testing at no cost to the patient. Komen breast self-exam shower reminder cards were given to all of the women.
“Everyone loved them,” Harned said. “We found these cards so important that we plan to provide them to 2,000 women in 2012.”
The overall goal of YMBHP is to increase awareness of breast health in the community, to provide educational outreach to low income/underserved populations of women, and to improve access to breast screenings and mammography for the entire eight-county service area, with special focus on women ages 40-65, Harned said.
Komen Mission Coordinator Kristen Hasselback sees Flaget’s YMBHP as meeting its goals, she said.
“We are excited to once again have Flaget Memorial Hospital as one of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Louisville 2012 Grant Recipients,” Hasselback said. “The Yes, Mamm! Program does an outstanding job of creating the awareness of breast health in its community. The funding of this program will increase access to screening services for women in Bullitt, Hardin, Nelson and surrounding counties. We look forward to a future of hearing more wonderful outcomes created by the Yes, Mamm! Program.”
Flaget President Sue Downs, M.S.N., C.E.N.P., agrees with the absolute importance of supporting the breast health program.
“Flaget is diligently working to make the necessary breast cancer detection technology accessible at zero cost (or nearly zero cost) to the women participating in the YMBHP,” Downs said. “The fees for the screening will be waived or minimized to maximize the use of the grant dollars. In the case where a physician indicates a need for more definitive cancer testing or treatment, the YMBHP patient will quality for the hospital’s charity care program, which will provide the funding needed to complete the patient’s treatment plan.”
Numerous events, advertisements and promotions are scheduled throughout the year to be sure women stay focused on prevention of breast cancer, and on early detection, Downs said. Susan G. Komen educational materials will help to educate, and will underscore the message.
“In this way, Flaget Memorial Hospital, in partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, will make a life-saving difference in the lives of hundreds of women who are now being lost in the gaps of the health care system,” Flaget’s president said.