By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
For the fifth year in a row, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has awarded the Southern Ohio Medical Center Cancer Center with funding to support the Hands of Hope grant program. The grant is for $64,165.
“We are pleased and honored to receive this support from Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Their continued support is making a difference in the lives of so many people,” said Wendi Waugh, SOMC’s Administrative Director of Cancer Services. “With this grant, we will be able to offer invaluable care and support to our patients here in southern Ohio.”
The grant provides mammography, ultra-sound of the breast, MRIs of the breast, surgical consultations and breast biopsies.
Waugh said SOMC staff provides many of the resources and the connection to what patients need to get them to where they need to be, but the Komen grant provides the funds to bring it all together.
“It’s absolutely critical to our program,” Waugh said. “Over the year you probably hear a lot about breast screenings and breast awareness from SOMC, and we do a lot of that promotion; provide the staff. But we absolutely could not pay for the women to have mammograms. So what the grant really does is provide the funding for the critical testing they need.”
One of the services provided by SOMC is the Breast Health Navigator, Kimberly Richendollar, who guides patients through breast diagnostic testing and oncology treatment, while also providing general breast health education.
“She’s the one who visits all the people in the hospital when they just have their cancer surgery. She’s the person that you call if you have questions,” Waugh said. “She gets all category-four or -five mammograms. She helps you through the process. She’s the grant overseer who identifies whether or not they meet the criteria for the grant to pay for the mammograms. She is our person here who facilitates the grant.”
Eligibility of an uninsured woman is determined by income level, as well as whether or not the individual currently has health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Income can be no greater than 200 percent above Federal Poverty Guidelines to qualify.
“Mammography and biopsy services are provided only for as long as funding remains,” Waugh said. “For that reason, we ask our patients to coordinate services with our Breast Health Navigator before they are performed.”
The SOMC Cancer Center is at 1121 Kinney’s Lane in Portsmouth. For more information, call Richendollar at 740-356-7465.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.