October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, offering a perfect opportunity to highlight the outstanding work Community Health Centers (CHCs) in Colorado are doing to improve breast cancer screening among the many medically underserved patients that CHCs care for. This initiative has been made possible by a partnership between Colorado CHCs and The Komen Foundation.
For over 10 years, Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN) has been a recipient of funding from Komen Colorado. Komen Colorado’s mission is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures. Through the Screening and Diagnostics grant that CCHN received in 2016, eight participating CHCs are able to cover costs for direct patient services including mammograms, ultrasounds, and biopsies, for women who are not eligible for public or private insurance programs. A majority of women served have never been screened or have not been screened in the past two years. In addition to covering costs, CHCs provide necessary breast health education, targeting populations who have the lowest overall screening rates.
Komen Colorado also provides funds for treatment, so if a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer through Komen funds, they can be referred to a Komen treatment provider, ensuring the patient moves through the continuum of care.
In 2016, the participating CHCs are Clinica Family Health, Clínica Tepeyac, Metro Community Provider Network, Mountain Family Health Centers, Salud Family Health Centers, Sheridan Health Services, Summit Community Care Clinic, and Sunrise Community Health. There are a combined 37 sites throughout Komen Colorado’s 2-county service area (mountain resort, front range, and rural northeast) where eligible women and men can go to receive much needed breast health care services.