Help for Women Who Need Mammograms

Since 2002, the Make a Difference Breast Cancer program has provided breast cancer outreach, education and screening services to uninsured and underinsured women of Washington County and the tri-state area.

Through a grant from Susan G. Komen Maryland® and Avon Foundation for Women along with collaborators Meritus Health’s John R. Marsh Cancer Center, Washington County Health Department’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP), Breast Cancer Awareness—Cumberland Valley (BCA-CV) and Diagnostic Imaging Services, an average of 400 women are screened each year at Meritus Center for Breast Health and other surrounding locations.

Nurse practitioners perform breast exams and instruct women on breast self-awareness. Women who require mammography are prescheduled and receive breast care education and screening often the very same day.

A breast health navigator follows up with patients on test results and further diagnostic needs, applies for financial aid, establishes follow-up appointments, arranges for any transportation or translation services and provides emotional support. “We try to remove all obstacles that would prevent women from getting a mammogram,” says Carrie Starkey, program director for the Make a Difference Breast Cancer program.

A new partnership with Family Healthcare of Hagerstown prompted the concept of a “Girls’ Day Out.” Each week, Family Healthcare invites five women for clinical breast exams, mammography and education at the Meritus Center for Breast Health. The Make a Difference Breast Cancer program picks up the tab.

“It’s really a way to build camaraderie and take anxiety out of getting a breast exam,” explains Carrie. She hopes to expand “Girls’ Day Out” to physician offices and other community organizations.

If you need to schedule your annual mammogram and require financial assistance, call 301-665-4671 for more information about breast health and screening or click here for upcoming screening events.