The University of New Mexico Cancer Center’s Mobile Mammography Program has received a $10,000 grant from the Nancy Floyd Haworth Foundation (NFHF) to continue its life-saving work among women in medically underserved areas of New Mexico. Launched in 2009, this innovative program has provided screening mammograms and appropriate follow-up care to approximately 1,000 uninsured and underinsured women, the majority of whom are Hispanic and Native American, in a dozen rural communities, towns and pueblos across the state.
The NFHF will recognize Mobile Mammography Program leaders and other 2012 grant recipients at its 22nd Annual Celebration of Hope Luncheon, held Saturday, April 14, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Albuquerque. (See event details here and below.)
“The Nancy Floyd Haworth Foundation has been a key funding partner of the Mobile Mammography Program from the start,” says Cheryl Willman, MD, Director and CEO of the UNM Cancer Center. “In fact, this represents our fourth consecutive year of support from the NFHF. We are so grateful to the NFHF board, staff and donors for their ongoing commitment.”
“For many women in remote and rural areas of New Mexico, breast cancer screening is literally out of reach,” explains Barbara Damron, PhD, RN, Director of the UNM Cancer Center’s Office of Community Partnerships and Cancer Health Disparities. “Our Mobile Mammography Program is addressing this problem by ‘hitting the road’ to bring full-service screening mammography to clinic sites in underserved communities. Support from the NFHF has been essential to our survival and success, and this new grant will allow us to screen hundreds more New Mexican women in the coming year.”
About the UNM Cancer Center’s Mobile Mammography Program
Statewide, approximately 1,100 New Mexican women are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer each year, and another 220 die from the disease. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanic, Native American and African American women in New Mexico, and the most common cancer diagnosis (excluding skin cancer) among women of all ethnic groups. Yet eight of the New Mexico’s 33 counties—home to more than 51,000 people—do not have certified mammogram facilities. Lack of health insurance or inadequate health insurance is another common barrier to breast cancer screening that New Mexican women face.
The Mobile Mammography Program was developed to help bridge the access gap for uninsured and underinsured women in rural and remote areas of New Mexico. Working closely with the New Mexico Department of Health’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, the American Cancer Society, the New Mexico Primary Care Association, Federally Qualified Health Center clinics and other partners, the Mobile Mammography Program travels thousands of miles each year to hold screening events at clinics across northern and central New Mexico.
Since its launch in October of 2009, the program has provided screening mammograms to approximately 1,000 eligible women, at little or no cost to the women themselves. More than half of the women served are Hispanic or Native American. Eligible women who take part benefit by receiving a screening mammogram and by being assigned to (or confirmed in) a medical “home.” The Mobile Mammography Program makes proactive arrangements with clinic sites to ensure that they can accept each screened woman into the clinic, receive her mammography results and provide all needed follow-up care. The program has been supported by the Nancy Floyd Haworth Foundation in all four years of its operation to-date.
About the NFHF and the 22nd Annual Celebration of Hope
The Nancy Floyd Haworth Foundation is an Albuquerque-based nonprofit dedicated to providing breast cancer education and support to New Mexicans. On Saturday, April 14, the NFHF will hold its 22nd Annual Celebration of Hope at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Albuquerque. The program kicks off with two free public events: “What’s New in Breast Cancer,” a medical seminar featuring local breast cancer experts; and “Look Good and Feel Great: Take a Look at Me Now,” a panel of breast cancer survivors sharing their inspirational stories. Both events are offered at 9 a.m. and again at 10:30 a.m. Reservations for these free events are not required, but seating is limited and members of the public are advised to come early.
A benefit luncheon follows at noon, with a keynote address by Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BA, MNS, Administrative Director of the Johns Hopkins Avon Breast Cancer in Baltimore, Maryland, and an award ceremony for all 2012 NFHF grant recipients. Tickets to the benefit luncheon are $75, and must be purchased in advance by calling the NFHF at 505-265-6343. For details, visit www.nfhfoundation.org.