As St. Vincent’s efforts are underway to upgrade the mobile mammography program, we propose continuing to serve the targeted population by advancing measures to enhance accessibility in conducting the screenings at St. Vincent’s Breast Health Center located at St. Vincent’s Medical Center. The need for preventative screening is at a critical juncture given the documented decline of cancer diagnosis by 40% which is directly attributed to the decrease of cancer screenings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Measures we are instituting to accelerate accessibility include:
1) Providing aggressive outreach to the targeted population (church network, housing authority, minority newspapers, community-based organizations)
(2) Providing ease of scheduling an appointment by a direct number
(3) Providing flexible scheduling in the evening and on weekends
(4) Providing transportation vouchers or bus tokens (the Breast Center is on a bus-line)
We will reach out to at-risk asymptomatic women, particularly Hispanic and African American women, who are medically underserved, elderly, minority, uninsured, underinsured, or face barriers that prevent them from accessing services. Our bilingual staff (Spanish/English) ensure that language barriers do not prevent access to care. Additionally, we will be able to provide ultrasound screening for women who have dense breast tissue at the Breast Health Center.
St. Vincent’s is among the largest multidisciplinary cancer treatment centers in Connecticut. We use an ‘above and beyond’ approach to ensure that all follow-up care is secured, and no one is left without resources. Our patient demographic contains a high number of undocumented individuals who do not quality for any government-subsidized health insurance. We also target underserved women who do not have health insurance or who have high co-pays that make breast health services unaffordable on a limited income. Our team-based approach includes bilingual schedulers and care coordinators, as well as dedicated health educators and patient navigators, case managers, nurses, and radiologists. We provide a complete continuum of care for our patients at no cost. If breast problems are discovered, one of our two Breast Health Educator/Navigators, along with our Hispanic case manager, will follow up to provide the necessary education and resources.
“I find it so rewarding to be in a field that is constantly changing; I am so inspired by the patients I work with.” — Dr. Bridgid Killelea, St. Vincent’s Medical Center
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