Saint Luke’s Mobile Mammography Program & Longview Horse Park Pink Ribbon Benefit
August 18, 2012
By Mary Pechar,
When it comes to breast cancer, early detection saves lives. But each year, only 68 percent of the women who should have a mammogram do. Some women may hesitate because they have heard it’s uncomfortable or they just don’t make the time. However, some women are not getting mammograms simply because they cannot afford one.
“If breast cancer is detected in its early stages before it spreads out of its original duct, survival is approaching 98 percent, so it’s important for all women meeting screening guidelines to get this screening annually,” said Sallie Brackman, R.T. (RM), lead mammographer at the Saint Luke’s North Hospital Center for Women’s Care.
The Spelman Medical Foundation in partnership with Saint Luke’s North Hospital Center for Women’s Care and with the support of Longview Horse Park Association – Pink Ribbon Benefit, is able to provide a total of seven mobile screening mammogram opportunities to uninsured and underinsured women for the community in 2012. What began with one location annually, in 2005, now averages five to six locations per year, reaching approximately 125 women yearly.
Because of the involvement of the community, this year for the first time, the Mobile Mammography Program, supporting the uninsured and underinsured women in the Lee’s Summit community, has been scheduled at the Gamber Center on Tuesday, September 4th.
“The Mobile Mammography Program is so important because many of these patients would not be able to get an annual mammogram without it,” said Kelly Szala, M.S.N., R.N.C., W.H.N.P., nurse navigator at the Center for Women’s Care. “It serves the population that is caught in the middle – they don’t have insurance or are underinsured but can’t qualify for Medicaid/Medicare. This population usually struggles to receive health care.”
The women who attend the mobile outings not only get a screening mammogram but also receive a clinical breast exam, along with education on performing a breast self-exam. The clinical breast exam is performed by a staff member who is certified through MammaCare and is able to perform a standardized, systematic exam. Each year, women who have previously attended are privy to the first spots and there are always many repeat patients. In addition, patients who are determined to need a diagnostic mammogram due to problems in the breast are referred to a separate clinic for the diagnostic mammogram.
Cheryl Thomas-Boone has attended one of the mobile mammography outings since 2009. “The staff showed me different ways to examine my breasts that I had ever been told,” Thomas-Boone said. “They’ve taught me a lot. Last year they had a model of a breast that had cancer so that we could feel it. I used to cringe at getting a mammogram, but now I look forward to it,” she said. “The staff is just wonderful – they really make you feel at home. And it was easy! Everyone should go and get checked.”
Three mobile mammography outings remain for 2012: Tuesday, August 21st at Riverside Community Center, Tuesday, September 4th at the Gamber Center in Lee’s Summit, and Thursday, November 15th at Pine Ridge Presbyterian Church. All screenings are from 9:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. by appointment only. Availability is limited to 25 women per location and appointments are given to women who are uninsured or underinsured. To register, call the mobile outing coordinator at 816.880.6046.
This will mark the final Pink Ribbon Program at the Longview Horse Park Association Benefit show on August 25th at 5 p.m. and the final opportunity to participate in the very successful efforts which began in 2009 with only one class. Last year, the event was renamed the Bev Cathcard Memorial Benefit Show. Cathcard a longtime supporter of the Horse Park passed away July 21, 2011. She had requested in lieu of memorials, donation be made to the Longview Horse Park. This annual benefit now dedicated to her strives to carry on her legacy.
The United Professional Horsemen’s Association (UPHA), in cooperation with the American Royal, began a new tradition in Saddlebred horse shows during 2007. They designated the Ladies’ Five-Gaited Open as the “UPHA Pink Ribbon” class, with proceeds from the class donated to breast cancer research.
The Longview Horse Park Association Benefit Show has designated the Ladies Western Pleasure Open (Walk, Optional Gait and Canter) as the “UPHA Pink Ribbon” class. Proceeds from the class are donated to the UPHA Foundation, Inc. in support of breast cancer research and awareness. This is the first and only Western Pleasure class to be designated by UPHA as a “Pink Ribbon” class.
Donations may be made at the Show or mailed to Sara Ring, P.O. Box 171, Greenwood, MO 64034. For additional information call Sara Ring at 816.537.6855 or visit www.longviewhorsepark.com