Salida, Colorado-The Targeted Outreach Program administered by Heart of the Rockies Regional
Medical Center Foundation now offers free cervical cancer screening and
diagnostic services to qualified women aged 21 through 64. The program
is made available through the Women's Wellness Connection, a program
of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
"Many forms of cancer are preventable if women get screened early,"
said Brenda Gentile, HRRMC's community health worker. "This expansion
of services by the Women's Wellness Connection will help young women
who can least afford screening stay cancer-free."
Previously, eligibility for these services began at age 40. The Women's
Wellness Connection is expanding eligibility, beginning January 1, 2017,
to include younger women who may not have the income or insurance coverage
to pay for these important screening services. To qualify for these free
services, women must earn less than 250 percent of the federal poverty
level, be in the United States legally, and either have no health insurance
or have health insurance with high deductibles or copays.
Women are eligible for a number of diagnostic procedures. If women enrolled
with the Women's Wellness Connection are diagnosed with cancer, most
will qualify for treatment through Health First Colorado's Breast
and Cervical Cancer Program.
The Targeted Outreach Program at HRRMC also offers free breast cancer screening
for women ages 40 to 64 who meet the same eligibility requirements. Women
can check eligibility and clinic locations at the www.wwc.dphe.state.co.us/
or by calling Brenda Gentile at 719-207-2088.
About 12,000 women are diagnosed every year in the United States with cervical
cancer and approximately 4,000 women die of the disease, according to
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Latinas and African-American
women are at higher risk for developing and dying from cervical cancer.
The Women's Wellness Connection provides free breast and cervical
cancer screenings to eligible women at more than 120 locations. It is
important to recognize during January-Cervical Health Awareness Month-that
screening saves lives.