Komen grants to benefit programs in Meigs, Gallia


Staff Report



COLUMBUS — Susan G. Komen® Columbus this week announced it will invest more than $1.2 million in 11 programs throughout the 30-county Komen Columbus service area, including programs which serve Gallia and Meigs counties.

Those programs are:

Center for Appalachia Research in Cancer Education: The Rural Pathways Project serving Gallia, Guernsey, Jackson, Knox, Marion, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Ross, Washington counties.

Ohio University Healthy Adult Project: Breast Education Screening & Navigation Program, serving Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Pike, Perry, Ross, Scioto, Vinton, Washington counties.

The Ohio State University Breast Health Connection, serving Athens, Gallia, Guernsey, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton, Washington counties.

Vinton County Health Department: Vinton County Breast Education and Awareness Program (BEAP), serving Athens, Fairfield, Hocking, Meigs, Ross counties.

Details about these programs are as follows:

The Center for Appalachia Research in Cancer Education: The Rural Pathways Project, aims to “connect the dots in breast health care” by partnering with existing hospital systems, health care agencies, and community-led programs to assist more than 600 uninsured/underinsured women through the continuum of care with culturally competent breast education, screening, diagnostic and support services to address the needs of those who may be at risk for a breast cancer diagnosis.

The Ohio University Healthy Adult Project: Breast Education Screening & Navigation Program, will strive to serve 400 individuals by increasing access to breast health services and will aid in early detection of breast cancer in southeast Ohio through this program. The target population is underserved women living in the Appalachian Ohio counties of Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton & Washington. The program will seek to increase the number of women entering the continuum of care and decrease late stage breast cancer diagnosis. Services include clinical breast exams, referrals and vouchers for screening mammograms, diagnostics and transportation, patient navigation and breast health education.

The Ohio State University Breast Health Connection will reduce logistical and structural barriers to entering the continuum of care and adhering to appropriate follow-up care for breast health among women in 17 Appalachian Ohio counties. The BHC project will conduct breast health education; provide a toll-free number for women to obtain information about local breast cancer screening programs and facilities; increase access to mammography screening for at least 1,000 women; and support patient navigation throughout the continuum of care including screening services, follow-up of abnormalities, and treatment.

Vinton County Health Department: Vinton County Breast Education and Awareness Program (BEAP), provides early detection services, including education, screenings and diagnostics to help improve the mortality rates in the Appalachian areas, including Athens, Fairfield, Hocking, Jackson, Meigs, Ross and Vinton Counties. BEAP will provide breast health education and mammograms for women who are underinsured or uninsured. Transportation barriers will be eliminated by providing gas vouchers for appointments. Patient navigation will be provided to each woman throughout the continuum of care.

“Breast cancer mortality rates are higher in Ohio than almost anywhere else in the country,” said Julie McMahon, director of mission at Komen Columbus. “The investment in these programs will help women from early screening through continuing care. In particular, these programs will help women in underserved communities where already tight resources are in danger of further state and federal budget cuts.”

This year’s programs create pathways of outreach, care and support for patients in an innovative new model, with three focuses:

• Screening Navigation Programs educate women about risk and how to access care through their insurance. These programs also address any barriers, including cost for the uninsured, or other barriers like transportation.

• Continuum of Care Navigation Programs help families navigate the healthcare system to get screenings. Should an abnormal screening occur, these programs offer needed support to make critical decisions and get the highest quality care. This care includes overcoming barriers ranging from high out-of-pocket costs to transportation to psychosocial support.

• Mobile Mammography increases availability of mobile mammography in rural-Appalachian communities to increase access to screening and early detection.

Submitted by Susan G. Komen® Columbus.

Staff Report