Pink Ribbon Program targets language barrier

For the 14th consecutive year, the Christiana Care Health System received a $90,000 grant from the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia to fund its Pink Ribbon Program, a free service pairing patients with bilingual navigators to improve access to mammography screenings.

The program, which is run by Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, uses outreach navigators and partner agencies to assist individuals to schedule mammogram appointments, provide breast health education, find transportation and help find funding sources to cover the cost of the mammogram. The navigators also educate the community about breast health, cancer prevention and early detection, according to a Christiana Care Health System press release.

This program also provides funds for screening mammograms for those who are eligible. These women can call to get assistance for mammograms, and if funding is necessary, a navigator will assist them. Special block time screenings are arranged with women’s groups to help eliminate barriers. Some groups require additional interpreters and help. This program supports outreach to meet their needs. In addition, block-screening times are available on the second Tuesday and third Thursday of each month at Christiana Care’s Wilmington Hospital or through special weekend events.

“With coordination from our community leaders and partners we are able to assist those to get mammograms completed by using navigators, interpreters and special scheduling,” Nora Katurakes, manager of Community Health Outreach and Education at the Graham Cancer Center, said in the release. “The grant supports us to provide information and assist with access to screenings and, help with connecting financial resources which continues to be a critical need.”

In the past 23 months, the Pink Ribbon program has provided services to more than 8,000 women, five of whom were found to have breast cancer, helped more than 2,089 women navigate the system, and provided 668 women with financial assistance.

Joceline Valentin, community outreach coordinator and women’s health navigator, speaks English and Spanish and reaches out to community members in a variety of ways. “We’ve had great success reaching women at our annual Latina Conference,” she said in the release. “Last year was the 10th anniversary of the conference. More than 350 women attended, learning valuable information and resources for breast health and other women’s health issues.”

For the 2016-2017 grant period, Komen Philadelphia distributed more than $1 million in grants to support breast health education, awareness, screening and treatment initiatives specifically targeting low-income, uninsured women. Komen Philadelphia distributes grants to organizations that work with the medically underserved, including uninsured and underinsured individuals and those who may not receive adequate care because of such barriers as language, cultural differences and fear, the release said.



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