STOCKTON: St. Joseph’s Awarded Breast Cancer Outreach Grant
St. Joseph's Regional Health System in Stockton was recently awarded a $30,000 grant from the Avon Breast Health Access Fund to continue its breast cancer outreach efforts, marking the second year the program has received funding from the organization. St. Joseph Medical Center's Shades of Survivorship program targets African-American and Latino women over age 40 to promote early detection strategies, encourage routine screenings and refer interested women "to low- or no-cost health services such as mammograms." The "local outreach program" relies on door-to-door campaign efforts to realize its goal of informing 1,000 African-American women about breast cancer. The program also advocates awareness through "culturally and linguistically appropriate educational activities" at churches, workplaces and home parties. In an effort to aide women already diagnosed with breast cancer, the Early Support program at the medical center addresses "the many questions and concerns women have following a breast cancer diagnosis." Although the Early Support program does not provide medical advice, the program advocates information-sharing among women who have "not yet made a decision regarding treatment, have questions and concerns regarding treatment ... or future health care issues." In addition, the Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Control Program at St. Joseph's Medical Center offers pelvic exams and Pap smears to women over 40 and provides these services free "to women 50 and older who have no health insurance, do not qualify for Medi-Cal and fall below the poverty level." Candy Simbalenko, the program's director, said, "Most of the women we see have never had a Pap smear." She added, "This gives us an opportunity to get out into our community and do something to help these women who need these services. ... Last year, we exceeded our goal and educated over 700 women about breast cancer." Click Stockt on Record to read an article series on breast cancer.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.