POMEROY — Pink with Purpose will continue to address the needs of women in Meigs County, thanks to a recently awarded grant.
Susan G. Komen Columbus announced the $32,000 grant that will be used to provide breast health education, assistance in finding a primary care physician, scheduling appointments and reducing financial barriers for patients.
Pink with Purpose was one of 22 breast health programs to receive more than $1.46 million in funding from Komen Columbus. The money is raised through the efforts of supporters and fundraisers, including the Columbus Race for the Cure and the 2015 Athens Race for the Cure.
“Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer in Ohio are more likely to die from the disease than almost anywhere else in the United States,” said Julie McMahon, director of mission at Komen Columbus.
She attributed the statistics to multiple barriers, such as access to affordable care and treatment, and challenges navigating the health care systems.
“In communities we serve, we have identified issues contributing to those problems and focused our support to organizations that bring local solutions to those barriers,” McMahon said.
Now in their 11th year, Pink with Purpose (formerly Think Pink) has received funding from Komen Columbus to enable their program to provide more than 1,300 screening mammograms, 300 diagnostic follow-up procedures, 500 referrals and 1,600 gas vouchers.
Pink has also provided 39 Women’s Health Days in outreach locations across Meigs County.
One such event this spring provided an opportunity to learn more about breast cancer risk and prevention. Called the Breast Torso exhibit, this 20-foot by 40-foot replica is used as a teaching tool.
As visitors walked through this simulation of actual breast tissue, they were able to see both cancerous and non-cancerous breast conditions.
The replica has examples of what a tumor and inflammatory breast disease looks like inside the body, as well as other issues women may encounter throughout their lifetime.
According to Meigs County Cancer Initiative chairperson Norma Torres, this is a serious educational tool, and while the subject of breast health may still be difficult for some to address, breast cancer is the second-leading cause of death for women in the United States.
“Our organization (MCCI) uses grants and donations for our events,” she said. “We are a nonprofit. No taxpayer money was involved in the exhibit. We used some of the grant money from Koman Columbus Pink with Purpose to provide what we believe is an important educational tool to our community.”
Breast health specialist Heidi Rittenour and MCCI Administrative Assistant Carolyn Grueser were also at the event and provided resource information to guests at the exhibit.
Pink with Purpose also hosted a breast cancer survivor’s workshop for dozens of women.
This year, Pink with Purpose programs will take two approaches to breast health: Screening navigation and continuum of care.
Navigation will focus on educating women about risk and how to access care through their insurance. The program will also assist women who are uninsured or have barriers such as transportation.
Continuum of care is for those who may get an abnormal screening result. It offers support needed to make critical decisions and to make sure the patient has the highest level of quality care. Out-of-pocket costs and emotional support are also offered through this program.
For more information on Pink with Purpose, visit their office at 117 E. Memorial Drive in Pomeroy.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155, Ext. 2551.