Neighborhood Health Plan Partners with YWCA Boston to Increase Breast Health Awareness
Mammography Screenings at Neponset Health Center
October 18, 2012 (BOSTON) – For the third year in a row, Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP) is making an impact in increasing breast health awareness among local Boston communities.
NHP is teaming up with its corporate partner, YWCA Boston, to encourage African American women 40 years of age and older to get an annual mammogram and to educate them about the importance of mammography screening as a critical first step in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer.
- On Thursday, October 18th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., NHP, YWCA Boston and Harbor Health Services’ Neponset Health Center will hold Mammography Van screenings at Neponset Health Center at 398 Neponset Avenue, Dorchester.
In addition to receiving mammography screenings, participants will be able to:
- Learn about breast cancer and how to lower their risk
- Talk to a provider about breast health
- Listen to a breast cancer survivor
- Read the “Pink Clothesline,” where breast cancer survivors and their family/friends hang hand-written messages of positive thoughts and wishes
- Pledge to regular self breast examinations and yearly mammogram screenings
- Receive free refreshments and “Think Pink” items
- On Wednesday, October 24th from 5 p.m. – 8:15 p.m., NHP and YWCA Boston will hold their annual breast health phone-a-thon during which NHP and YWCA Boston employee volunteers connect with local women in their native language, educating them on the importance of breast health and exams, answering questions, and providing details about mammography and screenings. NHP and YWCA Boston’s recent phone-a-thons have reached more than 3,000 Boston-area women.
NHP also is raising awareness through public service announcements and patient outreach through community health centers in Brockton, Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale and Roxbury.
“According to the National Cancer Institute, White women have the highest incidence rate for breast cancer, although African American/Black women are most likely to die from the disease,” said Kevin Casey, executive director at the Neponset Health Center, a site where the Dana Farber Mammography Van provides mammography screenings at least six times per year. “In our diverse communities, prevention, education and mammography screenings brought by partners such as the Avon Foundation, Neighborhood Health Plan and the Dana Farber Mammography Van are life savers.”
Every year, more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and nearly 40,000 will not survive. African American women are affected disproportionately, as they are twice as likely to die from breast cancer compared to white women because of delayed diagnosis and treatment, and a higher susceptibility to more aggressive forms of the disease. Although regular screenings are recommended for women over 50, breast cancer can strike Black women as early as 20 years of age. Early screening is the first critical step to catching the disease at a stage when survival is more likely—with survival rates as high as 94 percent when detected early, compared to 18 percent after the cancer has spread throughout the body, according to the National Institutes of Health.
“Too often we see women’s lives cut short from breast cancer because treatment wasn’t accessible or it wasn’t detected early enough,” said Deborah C. Enos, Neighborhood Health Plan’s president and CEO. “Neighborhood Health Plan is dedicated to working with our partners in the community to ensure everyone, has access to high-quality healthcare.”
To learn more about the mammography campaign, please visit www.nhp.org/pages/mammography.aspx.
Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP), a Massachusetts-based not-for-profit corporation, is fully licensed by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance as a health maintenance organization and has provided comprehensive health services since 1986. An NCQA-accredited managed care organization, NHP serves MassHealth, Commonwealth Care, Commonwealth Choice, and fully insured commercial members across the Commonwealth. By working closely with the MassHealth program and commercial purchasers, and by partnering with community health centers and other providers, NHP grew rapidly from a few thousand members in the late 1980s to approximately 250,000 members today throughout Massachusetts. Headquartered in Boston, NHP serves members who have access to a provider network of more than 4,000 primary care practitioners, over 13,400 specialists, and 65 teaching, community, and specialty hospitals. Our network includes nationally known, major academic medical centers such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Children’s Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Tufts Medical Center, and major medical groups such as Atrius Health/Harvard Vanguard and Lahey Clinic. Neighborhood Health Plan is a member of Partners HealthCare, which was founded by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. For more information, visit nhp.org.
About YWCA Boston:
YWCA Boston is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. YWCA Boston will incrementally reduce systemic racial and gender disparities and improve social cohesion in Boston neighborhoods where health, educational and safety inequities are most significant.
About Harbor Health Services, Inc.:
Harbor Health Services, Inc. is a nonprofit, public health agency committed to providing quality, comprehensive health care in urban Boston, the South Shore and Cape Cod communities. Harbor Health owns and operates three community health centers: Geiger Gibson Community Health Center, Harbor Community Health Center-Hyannis and Neponset Health Center. In addition, Harbor Health administers the Elder Service Plan, a program providing care to frail elders in their place of residence, the Women Infant Children Nutrition Program of Dorchester South and the Ellen Jones Community Dental Center in Harwich. For more information visit us at www.hhsi.us.