FACT: Women of low socioeconomic status have a much higher mortality rate from breast cancer due to lack of diagnosis in the earlier stages. This can be attributed to lack of insurance, lack of knowledge, cultural and language barriers and fear.
CHALLENGE: An average of 245 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Potter and Randall counties every year. Out of those, 55 will die. How do we reduce that number by even one woman?
SOLUTION: The WISE Woman program, a collaborative effort of Panhandle Breast Health, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Breast Center of Excellence and other local foundations, provides quality, on-site breast health education and services for both breast and cervical screenings. These services are offered to all women. Those without insurance are connected to providers for grant-paid screening mammograms, diagnostic mammograms and pap tests.
OUTCOMES: Results include increased knowledge of risk factors, screening guidelines and the benefits of early detection such as reduced treatment and more positive outcomes.
Affected behavioral changes among women such as increased breast screening rates and decreased rates of late-stage diagnosis.
Produced strong partnerships that offered quality and coordinated outreach, multiple points of entry and screening closer to home. Provided quality assurance and evaluations to improve the program.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.