African American Breast Health Initiative
Receiving another year of funding from Susan G. Komen Southeast Wisconsin for our African American Breast Health Initiative is truly a testament to the quality programming delivered by our educator, Janine Tucker. Janine does an amazing job of not only educating more than 300 women annually but also connects them to mammogram screenings and provides navigation services as well.
Our African American Breast Health Initiative has been highly successful. Since 2011, when Wheaton Franciscan - St. Joseph Foundation received our first Komen grant, we have educated more than 700 women who received upwards of 400 mammograms. We serve African American women who are low income, under/uninsured, and are not typically proactive about healthcare. In the past few years, we began connecting with those who are extremely disadvantaged; those living in a group home, transitional living facility, incarcerated, and low income housing. Additionally, we provide education sessions in churches, community based organizations and elderly housing complexes. This year, due to an identified need, we connected with our Emergency Room social worker to educate her on the Initiative. Now, she can refer women arriving in St. Joseph’s ER with complaints of breast pain and those who are 40 years and older who haven’t had a mammogram, to the Breast Health program.
With this year’s funding from Komen, Janine will educate a minimum of 400 women, and a minimum of 60% of the women eligible will receive a mammogram. While the majority of the women we serve are over 40, a significant number of those we work with are 39 or younger. This is due to the delivery of the program (group homes, transitional living, etc.), as well as referrals of Wheaton physicians and community based clinics who refer patients with breast pain or other issues, many of whom are under 40.
Through programming, we focus on four aspects of breast health education, screening and care. We provide:
- Culturally competent educational presentations on breast health
- Follow-up contact and breast care support services to ensure women comply with screening recommendations and receive access to breast care and resources that they need
- Screening services, including mammograms and CBEs, provided free or at reduced rates
- Navigation services for all women
All of these services are made possible because of Susan G. Komen Southeast Wisconsin, and for that, we, along with the hundreds of women we serve, are grateful. It is with their support that we can achieve our goals in providing breast health education to women in our community.