Lawrence General Hospital has received a $10,000 Targeted Grant to Advance Women from the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation. The grant money will be used to support the hospital’s Latina Breast Health Outreach Program, a collaboration with the YWCA Northeastern Massachusetts in Lawrence. Since it began in 2011, this program has served more than 5,500 Latinas in the community, providing essential education about the importance of mammograms and maintaining overall breast health.
“In addition to providing education on breast health, we also schedule screenings and connect women to additional services like health insurance and primary care,” says Deb Dailey, director of Radiology at Lawrence General. “Once a screening is scheduled, we also make reminder calls to ensure that patients get to appointments, and assist with navigation should they need follow-up visits or treatment.”
According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Latinas tend to be diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer more often than most other ethnicities. This is due to lower mammography rates, as well as more delays in receiving follow-up care when screening finds an abnormality. This cultural disparity reinforces why the Breast Health Outreach Program continues to be relevant and important.
The Breast Health Outreach Program is staffed by two employees who work in close collaboration with a team of bilingual YWCA outreach Health Ambassadors. Through a series of “charlas,” or small group presentations, organized by the Health Ambassadors, local women receive education that is culturally and linguistically appropriate. The presentations are held in local churches, beauty salons, homes, and other informal gathering spaces.
“These are women who have limited access to health information,” explains Dailey. “Anything we can do to educate them about the importance of being proactive about their self-care can have a major impact.”
For more information about the Latina Breast Health Outreach Program, call 978-946-8000 extension 2437.
The Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation’s Targeted Grant program supports hundreds of community-based organizations working for progress on a specific issue in New England. Lawrence General Hospital was one of 170 nonprofits to receive a $10,000 grant. In total, Eastern is granting $1.7 million in Targeted Grants this year to nonprofits in communities from New Hampshire to Cape Cod and throughout the South Shore, North Shore, Metro West, Merrimack Valley, and Greater Boston.