The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

September 29, 2013

Mammogram bus coming to Wyoming County via grant

— Upper Laurel Fire & Ambulance Inc. has received a $32,016 grant from the West Virginia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® to promote breast cancer awareness and help women in Wyoming County get free breast cancer screenings.

At Upper Laurel Fire, the grant will support the B.R.E.A.S.T. Project (Brave Rescuers Educating About Screenings and Treatment). The project encourages women to get preventive screenings and offers uninsured/ under-insured women free vouchers for breast exams, mammograms, breast ultrasounds and biopsies. These vouchers can be used at Family Healthcare Associates, Oceana Medical Center and Princeton Community Hospital (Oceana and Princeton locations).

In addition, Upper Laurel Fire & Ambulance and Glen Fork Baptist Temple are hosting Bonnie’s Bus on Nov. 11. The mobile mammography unit will be parked at the Glen Fork Baptist Temple on Poplar Gap Road, Glen Fork, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bonnie’s Bus will provide screening mammograms to uninsured/under-insured women age 40 and up with an order from a clinic or physician.  

Women wishing to receive vouchers for free screening services at local medical centers or through Bonnie’s Bus need to contact grant project director Anita Cheek at 304-294-4400 or 304-673-9735. All information will be kept strictly confidential. Women also will receive free gas cards.

Cheek said, “Each year, more than 1,300 women in West Virginia are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and nearly 300 women die from the disease. Early detection and effective treatment are critical to improving survival. That is why our project is providing free mammograms and other screenings to all women age 40 and up regardless of their income.”

The Upper Laurel Fire Department was established in 1973 and added an ambulance service in 1994. Last year, it established Wyoming Warriors for Wellness, a committee of staff and volunteers working to promote healthier behaviors that reduce the risk for preventable diseases and disabilities. The B.R.E.A.S.T. Project is part of a larger effort to improve community heath.   

Its funding partner, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, and the West Virginia Affiliate is one of 125 on the front lines dedicated to ending breast cancer in their communities. Komen Affiliates fund innovative programs that help women and men overcome the cultural, social, educational and financial barriers to breast cancer screening and treatment.

“At the Komen West Virginia Affiliate, we conducted a needs assessment of our community and discovered particular gaps in service across the state,” said Rebecca Newhouse, past president of the West Virginia Affiliate’s Board of Directors and Grant Committee member. “We are confident that through the 2013-2014 grantees’ projects these needs will be addressed and West Virginia women will benefit as a result.”