Bridging the gap and saving a life

June 01, 2016

With no health insurance and no financial resources, 58 year-old Angelina Bezu had not had a mammogram in years. She understood the importance, though, as her sister had died of breast cancer. While at a community health fair organized by Providence St. Mary Medical Center and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, she quickly applied for a free mammogram.

She is so glad she did. The screening revealed an early stage of breast cancer. The cancer center’s navigation team at Providence quickly went to work, connecting Angelina with emotional support, treatment and rehabilitation. Angelina is now in remission. Her breast cancer would not have been discovered at such an early and survivable stage if it weren’t for the opportunity to reach her at Providence’s community health fair.

Giving women hope with early detection

This event provided breast cancer outreach for 45 women, two of whom screened positive for breast cancer. It is one way Providence helps bridge the gap to inform women of mammography screening services available through Providence St. Mary Foundation’s Jan Erickson Life Saver Fund. The fund provides free mammograms for women ages 40 and over who do not have insurance and cannot afford this service on their own.

Helping hands offer free screenings

Nearly 50 Providence caregivers volunteered to make the community health fair possible. Providence’s community investment of more than $14,500 helped provide several free services at the health fair including cholesterol screening, diabetes and bone density checks, plus educational resources for COPD, cancer, cardiology and rehabilitation.