Women in rural areas who may not have access to breast health care can look forward to taking advantage of programs within their communities thanks to several grants awarded Wednesday through the Coastal Georgia affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Beth Desloges, executive director of the Coastal Georgia affiliate, announced during a press conference and luncheon Wednesday at the Richmond Hill City Center the organization had raised $345,000 to give as part of grants to community programs.
“We’re just very, very excited,” Desloges said. “These funds are funding local community health programs that range from education programs to screening and diagnostic programs, and they are geared at helping our local women.”
Desloges said the money would be divided into eight separate grants awarded to local programs that will help bring services to women who may not have access to breast health care. Each grant varies based on the amounts requested, she said.
“The women that we are targeting this year are women that would otherwise fall through the cracks, primarily African-American, Latina and rural populations,” she said.
Grant recipients are selected through a long process, she said. Grant proposals were accepted last winter, and then an independent review committee reviewed, scored and ranked the applications.
Two of the grant recipients are the Coastal Health District, which represents Bryan and surrounding counties, for its program “Early Detection Saves Lives,” and Liberty County Health Department for its “BRAVE III Program.”
Annie Washington, nurse manager for Liberty County Health Department, said this is the third time the department has received the grant which allows them to continue their BRAVE program.
“The BRAVE acronym stands for Being Readily Available and Very Empathetic,” she said, noting the program began in 2010 and provides women who may not be able to afford insurance or doctor visits access to breast health services.
The third phase of the grant, Washington said, will allow Liberty County Health Department to partner with Long County Health Department.
“Some of the cool things we will be doing is having a mobile mammography unit go out into certain areas to provide access to these women who don’t have transportation,” she said. “We will meet them on their own ground, dissuade their fears and bond with them to help them understand that breast health is a part of total health care.”
She added the grant is a blessing that the health department is excited about.
“It means absolutely the ability for women that would we would not be able to reach by limited funding to receive mammograms and health care services,” Washington said.
Desloges said the funding for these grants is raised in a number of ways throughout the year. Three quarters of the money raised by the Coastal Georgia Affiliate stays in the coastal counties of Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long and McIntosh.
“As you know, 75 percent of the money that we raise through programs like our Race for the Cure stays here locally to help our local residents — and that’s very, very important,” she said.
Other programs that received the grant include Community Health Mission’s “One Woman at a Time,”, “Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care Mammogram Screening, Effingham Hospital’s “Comprehensive Education and Screening Program,” “Hearts and Hands for Mammograms,” Memorial Health’s “Memorial Mammogram Program 2013” and Southeast Georgia Health System’s “Mammograms in Motion.”