Members of the Susan G. Komen Chattanooga affiliate present representatives from the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center at CHI Memorial with grant funds. Pictured L to R – Daveisha Moore, Komen employee; Debbie Phinizy, manager, MaryEllen Locher Breast Center at CHI Memorial; Sarah Bowen, race director, Komen Chattanooga Race For the Cure; Angela Posey, Outreach Services coordinator for the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center at CHI Memorial; and Barbara Woods, honorary survivor chair, Komen Chattanooga Race For the Cure.
CHI Memorial MaryEllen Locher Breast Center received $18,750 in grant funds from the Susan G. Komen Chattanooga affiliate. The grant money will be used to provide breast health education outreach and screening mammograms for underserved women in the Chattanooga area. The MaryEllen Locher Breast Center has received $880,203 in grant funds from Susan G. Komen Chattanooga affiliate for a variety of programs since 2001.
Officials said early detection of breast cancer increases a woman’s chance of survival. The five-year relative survival rate for women with stage 0 or stage 1 breast cancer is close to one hundred percent, according to the American Cancer Society.
“We don’t want finances to keep a woman from getting her annual screening mammogram,” said Kathy Dittmar, market director, oncology operations, CHI Memorial. “This grant money from Susan G. Komen will allow us to provide eligible uninsured and under-insured women with these screenings at no cost to the woman.”
If an abnormality is discovered during a routine screening, the diagnostic work-up is also covered. If the woman needs a biopsy or receives a breast cancer diagnosis, MaryEllen Locher Breast Center staff works with her providing resources for financial assistance throughout her cancer journey. This financial assistance is available year-round.
A woman must meet certain guidelines to qualify for financial assistance including:
• Income guidelines;
• No insurance;
• Insurance does not pay for this service;
• Between the ages of 50 to 64; or
• Between the ages of 40-49 and have one or more of the following:
o A mother, daughter or sister with breast cancer;
o A personal history of breast cancer; or
o A clinical breast exam result that is positive or abnormal.
Mammography and cervical screenings are available at all three CHI Memorial MaryEllen Locher Breast Center locations in Chattanooga, Hixson and Ooltewah, and in a private suite on the mobile digital mammography vehicles.
To schedule a screening, call 423-495-4040 or 866-591-2254. Women must know their doctor’s first and last name. If a patient does not have a doctor, the staff at MaryEllen Locher Breast Center will work with her to find one.