Beginning in April, Southern Ohio Medical Center will be able to offer more breast cancer services to uninsured and underserved women in Scioto, Pike and Lawrence counties, thanks to a grant received from the Columbus chapter of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.
“The grant is going to open a lot of doors for us and will really give us a chance to provide a unique service to the women of our area,” Heather Ashley, RN, BSN, OCN, clinical manager of Medical Oncology at SOMC, said. “We’ve never had something on this level happen to us and we’re all very excited about its possibilities.”
The $48,500 grant given to the SOMC Cancer Center will be used to start the Hands of Hope program. Hands of Hope will be geared toward educating community woman 40 years and older about the importance of early breast cancer detection and supplying those already diagnosed with added guidance and support.
“Women diagnosed with breast cancer at an earlier stage have much higher survival rates,” Ashley said. “Unfortunately, not everyone in our community is financially able to go through the steps necessary to complete early detection, which is why the Hands of Hope program is so important.”
Hands for Hope will provide free mammograms and financial assistance for breast biopsy to uninsured women. Those currently affected by breast cancer will be provided with a special nurse contact, called a Breast Health Navigator, to bridge the gap between the physical aspects of breast cancer and the immediate needs throughout diagnosis, surgery and treatment. After breast surgery, patients will receive a visit from the Breast Health Navigator nurse for education regarding post-surgical care and the recovery process before leaving the hospital.
“We’re so glad to have the opportunity to partner with Komen Columbus,” Ashley said. “The program will be a great service to our community and we hope it will help the women of our area in winning the fight against cancer.”
Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest and most progressive network of breast cancer survivors and activists. For the past 25 years, the foundation has contributed more than $1 billion in funding for basic, clinical and translational breast cancer research and innovative projects in the areas of breast cancer education, screening and treatment.
To learn more about Hands of Hope and its qualifications, call Heather Ashley at (740) 356-7594.