558 N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754 | (541) 447-6205
New program aims to provide free mammograms to Crook County women
Rimrock Health Alliance begins “Bootin’Out Breast Cancer” with a local fund-raising event
November 01, 2012
With Oregon having higher-than-average incidents of breast cancer in the United States, women in Crook County are being given every possible opportunity to have a mammogram—regardless of their financial status.
Last year, approximately 20 women in Crook County were diagnosed with breast cancer , and in 2011, Pioneer Memorial Hospital did 1,472 mammograms.
Rimrock Health Alliance Executive Director Sharon Vail said that Bootin’ Out Breast Cancer is a new program developed to fill the gap for those who don’t have insurance, the money, or who may earn too much to qualify for other resources available to them — but can’t afford to pay for a mammogram.
The first event held for Bootin’ Out Breast Cancer was sponsored by Rimrock Health Alliance and hosted by Dillon’s Grill, and raised $1,000 towards mammograms for local women.
Vail said that the program provides extra resources for women who don’t qualify for the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP), which provides free screening for income-eligible women, or women who qualify for Oregon Health Plan. Mosaic Medical and the Crook County Health Department can enroll women in the BCCP program.
“These are some other resources for women in the county who don’t have the means to pay for a mammogram,” said Vail.
Rimrock Health Alliance has been doing a mammography research project with the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health Sciences University.
“That helped us understand the barriers to getting screened for breast cancer here in Crook County,” said Vail. “It made us realize that there were a large number of women who weren’t getting screened because there were no resources for them.”
She said this encouraged them to assist PMH with events that were orchestrated to raise money for mammograms. The recent event with Dillon’s Grill donated 20 percent of food sales for one day to help pay for mammograms for local women. Vail emphasized that Bootin ’Out Breast Cancer is an umbrella for all the efforts that they will do around breast cancer awareness to help women to get screened. She said that this will also be a way to partner with the “Tough Enough To Wear Pink” event held during the summer.
“This seemed like a perfect way for all of us to combine efforts and help them in the summer with their event,” said Vail.
She added that it will also be a way to help the Prineville Hospital Foundation to earn money, and they will continue to look for ways to help more women get screened for breast cancer.
Mammography Coordinator at Pioneer Memorial and Radiological Technologist Monica Poch said that this is the first year for the Bootin’ Out Breast Cancer fundraiser. Altogether, PMH has given approximately 40 certificates in Prineville over the past year for free mammograms. Other programs that have helped facilitate local funds include the Tough Enough to Wear Pink at the rodeo events, booths where they sell pink bandanas and pink scarves, and money raised at the bike rally at the Crook County Fairgrounds in 2011.
“The good part about it is people don’t need their mammograms all at the same time,” said Poch. “Everybody is spread out through the year when it is time for their mammogram.”
She also noted that many ladies who donate money may later be one of those who need a free mammogram, due to loss of insurance or a job.
“We want to encourage women over 50 to talk to their physician and get screened and get a mammogram every year,” emphasized Vail. “That is the whole point — to raise awareness.”