Crouse Hospital was recently awarded a $48,196 grant from Susan G. Komen Central New York to continue efforts to raise awareness regarding free and reduced-cost breast health services for women in the area.
The Komen grant enables Crouse to build upon ongoing outreach efforts dedicated to providing underserved women the opportunity to take advantage of free screenings and other breast-health services through three areas of focus:
- Targeted outreach projects to specific minority groups in the Syracuse area, including refugee populations and chemically dependent populations.
- Establishing connections with physicians, OB-GYNs and any practitioners who have patients under the age of 40 with a family history of breast cancer or abnormal results from exams.
- Outreach and educational programs aimed to support those who are uninsured.
The grant also helps Crouse provide mammograms and other tests for women who otherwise could not receive them because they carry insufficient insurance or do not qualify for Onondaga County’s Cancer Services Program. Crouse continues to work on educating the community about the importance of early detection of breast cancer and access to testing services available to women through the Crouse Breast Health Center.
Early detection is the best defense against breast cancer and thanks to regular screenings and improved treatment methods, people have a greater chance of survival than ever before. With the help of the Komen grant, Crouse aims to increase the number of women who get tested for breast cancer through community outreach and Crouse Breast Health Center programs. The hospital has been and will continue to work on lessening the impact of the barriers of poverty, as well as the lack of education about and the access to healthcare with projects like this.
“Crouse is dedicated to providing the best possible screening and treatment services to all women,” said Dr. Stephen Montgomery, medical director of the Crouse Breast Health Center. “Unfortunately, a lack of education about the services we provide or a lack of access to healthcare prevents many women from getting an annual mammogram, even though it can save lives.”
The Crouse Breast Health Center was the first area program to be designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. Last year Crouse introduced breast tomosynthesis, a new 3D imaging system that provides a more detailed picture of the breast than the traditional 2D digital mammogram, to detect even the most subtle signs of early cancer. Recently the center acquired a second 3D system to increase the number of women locally who can be screened using this advanced method.
Free Screenings for Uninsured Men and Women
Onondaga County's Cancer Services Program (CSP) offers free cancer screening for uninsured men and women ages 50 to 64. In addition, the CSP also offers free mammograms and Pap tests for women ages 40 to 64 who do not have health insurance. These screenings are provided at healthcare provider sites throughout the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County. To register for a free colorectal screening, mammogram or Pap smear, call 315/435-3653 or visit the Onondaga CSP website or CSP Facebook page.