WRHS Awarded Grant for Free Mammograms

(Batesville, Ark.)--White River Health System (WRHS) received a $34,400 grant from the Arkansas Affiliate of Komen for the Cure for its GYM (Get Your Mammogram) program. The grant money allows WRHS to provide uninsured and under-insured women in the service area with potentially life-saving mammography services, such as clinical breast exams, screening and diagnostic mammograms, ultrasounds and ultrasound guided needle biopsies.

This is the eighth consecutive year of funding for a program of this type at WRHS.  In just the past three years, The Komen Foundation and WRHS have provided 896 services to 716 individuals and detected 10 breast cancers.  

The program primarily serves women ages 40 to 64 who cannot afford mammography services and are not covered by commercial insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or Arkansas BreastCare. Younger women may also qualify if their physician determines they have a significant clinical risk or family history of breast cancer. Those who cannot afford an office visit to a family physician for a mammogram may qualify for an office visit at no cost. Women who wish to participate in this project must first make an appointment with a personal primary care physician for a clinical breast exam and obtain a physician’s order for a mammogram.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to, once again, provide the women throughout our area who may not otherwise afford it with the ability to get necessary breast health services,” said Dana Thomas, WRHS Grants Project Manager. 

This year marks the 20th Arkansas Komen for the Cure has awarded grants to healthcare institutions around the state to provide education, breast care services, and conduct clinic research to fight breast cancer. These funds are predominantly raised through the Race for the Cure®.  This year a total of $1,006,737 was awarded.

“We are delighted by the amount we were able to issue in grants this year,” said Arkansas Affiliate Executive Director Sherrye McBryde.  “It is directly due to the hard work of our volunteers and the generosity of our supporters. Additionally, $340,000 has been used for breast cancer research to help find the cure.”

The American Cancer Society recommends clinical breast exams at least every three years for all women in their 20s and 30s and yearly exams for women ages 40 and older. Women interested in taking advantage of free mammograms provided by WRHS and Komen are encouraged to contact Thomas at 870-262-1035 or dthomas2@wrmc.com to see if they qualify. 

Komen for the Cure was established as the Komen Foundation in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died from breast cancer at the age of 36.  Thanks to more than 75,000 volunteers dedicated to the fight against breast cancer, Komen for the Cure with its Affiliate Network is the world’s largest private funder of community-based breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment programs.  Together with its Affiliate Network, corporate partners and donors, Komen for the Cure has raised over one billion dollars for the fight against breast cancer. 

WRMC is a 235-bed regional referral center and the flagship facility of White River Health System (WRHS). WRHS is a not-for-profit healthcare system serving residents throughout North Central Arkansas. The system includes hospitals, outpatient facilities, rural health clinics, and primary care and specialty physician offices. White River Health System is a member of the Premier Alliance, the American Hospital Association and the Arkansas Hospital Association, is a recipient of the Governor’s Award, and is licensed by the Arkansas Department of Health.

Photo Caption: Dana Thomas, White River Health System Grants Project Manager, accepts a $34,400 grant from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Arkansas Affiliate Executive Director Sherrye McBryde.