The American Cancer Society awarded $100,000 to group of Mosaic facilities in Central Oregon

The American Cancer Society has awarded a $100,000 grant to Mosaic Medical to be distributed over the next two years, helping to improve cancer awareness, education, and screening for patients in Central Oregon.

Elaine Knobbs, director of development for Mosaic Medical, said that they were approached by the Cancer Society and asked to apply for the grant.

“We were told they had received funding from Walgreens with the goal of increasing breast and cervical cancer screening rates by 30 percent within the low income and uninsured populations in Central Oregon,” she said.

Knobbs described it as a “wonderful situation,” and welcomed an opportunity that would help Mosaic's patients gain access to screenings.

"We know that breast and cervical screenings are low in Central Oregon and that our tracking systems are not as robust as we would like," she said. "This grant will be used for uninsured women or those that do not have coverage for screening, especially for more exhaustive, and expensive, mammograms."

Christine Pierson, Mosaic Medical chief medical officer, agreed, saying that there are significant challenges for low-income women in accessing breast and cervical cancer screenings.

"The funding from the American Cancer Society will help make an important difference in raising screening rates for this population in Central Oregon," she said.

The grant is part of a $6.4 million gift from the Walgreens Way To Well Commitment program. Supporting the American Cancer Society's Community Health Advocates, the company has implemented its Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) program that encourages customers to donate to the American Cancer Society when paying for their purchases at checkout.

According to Walgreens, the CHANGE grants help promote health equity and ensure that communities with a higher burden of cancer have equal access to education and screening resources.

Gretchen Renggli, account representative with the American Cancer Society, said that the grant will focus on implementing various methods of outreach to Mosaic Medical patients to remind them of screening appointments and ensure they receive follow-up if a screening appointment is missed.

"Mosaic Medical will conduct outreach meetings to their most vulnerable populations across all five clinics, totaling 10 outreach meetings per year," she said.

As an example of their outreach efforts, Knobbs is looking forward to this year's Ladies Night Out event, hosted by Rimrock Health and held at the Central Oregon Community College open campus in Prineville.

The event, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 2, is billed as a "a social and informative evening" and will feature guest speakers, door prizes, hors d'oeuvres and more than 25 health and wellness exhibitors. Mosaic medical staff will be on hand providing information about available breast and cervical cancer screening options.

"We always participate in Ladies Night Out," she said. "We get to use it to promote our screening outreach program."

According to Knobbs, scholarships will be made available for those who can't afford a mammogram or pap smear test, making a special effort to reach out to Latino women through local churches and woman's educational programs at the public library.

For Knobbs it is all about getting the word out to all women.

"Getting out the word to all of our patients for the need for screening is for all women regardless of insured status," she said. "We want to be able to make sure that they are doing the necessary screening that can save their life, improve their health, and save money in the long run."

For more information contact the Mosaic Medical clinic in Prineville at 541-447-0707.

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