As part of its Pink Promise United initiative, United Way of Central Georgia has announced a new partnership with Atrium Health Navicent and Houston Healthcare to provide breast cancer screenings and treatment to uninsured and underinsured women in 15 central Georgia counties.
United Way of Central Georgia created Pink Promise United (PPU) in 2018 to fill the void left by the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s withdrawal from Central Georgia by raising money to provide mammography to ensure underinsured and uninsured individuals can get lifesaving cancer screenings.
After starting Pink Promise United, it became clear that women are referred for mammograms from many local clinics. With the new partnership with Atrium Health Navicent and Houston Healthcare, funding is available for the hospitals to work directly with patients in need of care, said George McCanless, president and CEO of United Way of Central Georgia at the December announcement.
Patients of First Choice Primary Care, Houston County Volunteer Medical Clinic, Macon Volunteer Clinic, Community Health Care Systems and the Georgia Department of Public Health are automatically screened for eligibility. Uninsured or underinsured patients of other primary care providers simply need to discuss eligibility with the breast care center at either hospital when making their mammogram appointment.
Nine thousand women in Georgia are diagnosed with breast cancer every year and 1,400 die of the disease.
“As a cancer surgeon, almost every day I have to tell someone that they have breast cancer,” said Dr. Paul Dale, a surgical oncologist and medical director of Atrium Health Navicent Peyton Anderson Cancer Center. “I can tell you that the ones diagnosed with mammography, who have caught breast cancer early, will do much better than ones who can already feel a lump in their breast.”
Grant funds provided by PPU provide “an incredible opportunity for women in our area who are underserved to have access to early diagnosis and treatment, offering them the best possibility to have a good, long life,” Dale said.
For some in our community, it may not just be a lack of funds that prevents routine screenings and mammography. Providing equity in care can be challenging due to a lack of transportation. Through PPU, women can also access transportation through PPU’s rideshare program or receive gas cards.
Since PPU was founded, more than 1,500 women have been screened for breast cancer with 88 women having an abnormal result and/or needing further diagnostic testing. A total of $364,181 has been granted to cover this critical care.
“Screening and early detection are critical in the fight against breast cancer, but many women may delay getting a mammogram due to a lack of insurance coverage or transportation. Thanks to the United Way of Central Georgia for partnering with Atrium Health Navicent as we bridge barriers to increase access to high quality care, improving health, elevating hope, and advancing healing for all,” said Atrium Health Navicent President Delvecchio Finley.
In addition, a portion of PPU funds will be allocated to Washington County Regional Medical Center to provide services to patients outside of Atrium Health Navicent and Houston Healthcare.
Atrium Health Navicent offers mammography services at the following locations:
Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin 821 North Cobb Street Milledgeville, GA 31061
Atrium Health Navicent Breast Care Center 800 First Street Suite 310 Macon, GA 31201
Atrium Health Navicent Imaging and Laboratory 1650 Hardeman Avenue Macon, GA 31201
Atrium Health Navicent Imaging Monroe 120 North Lee Street Suite B Forsyth, GA 31029
Atrium Health Navicent Imaging Northwest 5925 Zebulon Road Macon, GA 31210
Atrium Health Navicent Peach 1960 GA 247 Connector Byron, GA 31008
To schedule a mammogram at Atrium Health Navicent, call (478) 633-7020.