OhioHealth To Offer Breast Cancer Education, Screenings
As part of an ongoing commitment to linking residents to health services, Homeport will be making available -- thanks to OhioHealth -- breast cancer education and screenings at several of its residential communities.
“Over the years, Homeport has made the health of its residents a high priority,” said Homeport Supportive Services Manager Lawrence Furst II.
“Homeport provides free fresh vegetables and fruits through produce fairs, has a smoke-free policy for its homes, and offers cribs and education to young mothers to prevent infant mortality,” Furst said. “Now, we have accepted OhioHealth’s offer to speak to our residents about its initiative to bring breast cancer education and screening mammograms to a population traditionally underserved in breast cancer detection.”
African American women in Central Ohio are dying from breast cancer at a 33 percent higher rate than their white counterparts.
OhioHealth’s “Pink Pathways for African American Women” program, begun in 2016, provides breast cancer education, screening mammograms, support and navigation as well as referrals to community partners, according to Allison Payten, Program Coordinator for OhioHealth’s Office of Health Equity.
“Many of the women that have been referred for screening mammograms have insurance, however, those that do not have been enrolled or referred into a program that provides free mammograms if they meet eligibility criteria,” Payten said. Pink Pathways is funded through the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Columbus.
The first Pink Pathways for African American Women presentation to Homeport residents was made by OhioHealth’s Payten on May 30th at Eastway Village, a senior community in Whitehall.
“It was well received,” said Homeport’s Furst. “Residents were interested in scheduling a screening. Our next step is to schedule an OhioHealth mobile unit to come on site to Eastway. We will be looking to implement a similar process to other communities of Homeport.”
Future presentations are expected at Homeport’s Marsh Run, Kimberly Meadows and Raspberry Glen communities. Ohio Health recommends annual screenings for women beginning at age 40.
Furst credited Homeport Service Coordinator Jill Guinan with making the connection with OhioHealth through her networking at a Tobacco Free Collaborative meeting at Columbus Public Health.
Payten said several Homeport communities fall into zip codes defined by Susan G. Komen Columbus as most directly affected by higher breast cancer mortality rates.
“We hope that in working together with Homeport that we can establish trusted relationships and reach women in a comfortable and familiar atmosphere, to reduce some of the barriers that may keep them from obtaining early and high quality breast health care,” Payten said.