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KDMC Awarded Grant for Rural Breast Health Programs

ASHLAND, KY  — The Kentucky Breast Cancer Research and Education Trust Fund has awarded $19,957 to King’s Daughters Medical Center, who will use the money to fund new breast cancer awareness initiatives in five eastern Kentucky counties.

Beginning the in fall, King’s Daughters in partnership with local agencies, will present “Pink Ladies Days” events in Boyd, Carter, Martin, Magoffin and Wolfe counties where women will be treated to pink lemonade, cookies and monthly self-exam gift reminders. Also, KDMC’s mobile health unit will be available to provide screening mammograms. Uninsured or underinsured women who do not quality for other assistance will be considered for free mammograms.

About one in eight women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. While Kentucky women are diagnosed at a lower rate than the national average, the state’s breast cancer mortality rate is the sixth highest in the country. Women in rural areas of Kentucky have a higher breast cancer death rate than women in urban areas.

The five counties targeted by the Pink Ladies Days program have especially high breast cancer mortality rates and low regular screening rates, particularly among women older than 40. In four of these counties (Carter, Magoffin, Martin and Wolfe), screening mammography services are not available, says KDMC Community Services director Regina Stout.

“Studies show women in Appalachia often cite cost and a lack of awareness as reasons for not accessing health services,” Stout says. “We believe the Pink Ladies Days events will be successful because mobile and community-based health services that reduce transportation barriers are effective and popular among older women and others who don't receive regular preventive care.”

Stout says Pink Ladies Days events will be conducted at least quarterly in each of the five counties. “Our goal for the year is to screen at east 100 women who have never had a mammogram or have not been screened in three or more years,” she says. “We also want to provide at least 500 women with information and counseling about breast cancer risks and the importance of early detection with regular mammograms and self-exams.”

The Kentucky Breast Cancer Research and Education Trust Fund was created by the General Assembly in 2005 to support breast cancer research, education, treatment, screening and awareness. Grants are awarded to select nonprofit groups, educational institutions and government agencies whose projects best demonstrate sustainable, effective efforts to reduce the mortality rate of breast cancer in the state.

This year, the trust fund contributed more than $45,000 to five organizations. Grants are awarded for one year, but may be renewed in the next grant cycle. The trust fund is financed by state income tax refund contributions and the sale of breast cancer awareness specialty license plates.

Dates and times of Pink Ladies Days will be announced soon. To learn more about King’s Daughters’ community health programs and services, call 1-888-377-KDMC, or visit KDMC Health Connections' Community Events Calendar.

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