Susan G. Komen for the Cure grants SVHC $20,000 for Breast Health Rural Outreach Program


BENNINGTON >> The Vermont-New Hampshire affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer organization has awarded Southwestern Health Care Foundation (SHCF) $20,000 for its Breast Health Rural Outreach Program.

The foundation announced the grant on Tuesday as a joint cause between the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center and the Women's Imaging Center at Southwestern Vermont Medical center. The funds will support early detection and free or reduced-price screening or diagnostic mammograms for those without insurance or with high deductibles, according to a release.

"The Komen RACE for the Cure, NH/VT Grant funding we received this year will allow us to help pay for screening or diagnostic mammograms to some women who do not have insurance to cover the cost of a screening or diagnostic mammogram or women whose insurance deductible is prohibitively high," said Rebecca Hewson-Steller, RN and Breast Cancer Navigator.

SVHC has received aid from the affiliate since 2002 for the Imaging Center, free screening for uninsured women, educational projects, outreach and complementary therapies.

Age 40 is the most recent recommended age to begin mammogram screenings, according to the American College of Radiology. This technology detects cancer up to two years before a patient can feel a lump.

The cure foundation was named after Susan G. Komen, a woman who spent time thinking of ways to make life better for other women battling cancer while she fought her own. Her sister, Nancy Brinker, promised to uphold her legacy and established the Komen for the Cure movement in 1982. Since then, it's raise more than $2 billion and continues to "save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people," according to its website.

"In the past, we've even had a person who applied for Komen funding, came in for a screening mammogram and after subsequent diagnostic imaging, was found to have breast cancer. Luckily, it was caught early," Hewsen-Steller said. "That is a beautiful example of how the monies raised by Komen at their events like the recent 24th annual Komen VT RACE for the CURE held in Manchester, help our community. Komen considers Bennington County to be an at-risk area, therefore extends priority funding."

To learn how to receive funding for mammograms, contact Hewson-Steller at 802-440-4244.

— Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-490-6471.


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