Even with insurance, some women can’t afford mammograms and pap smears.
However, local community healthcare partners are working to fix that.
Each year, Central Valley Health, North Dakota Women’s Way, Jamestown Regional Medical Center and the Jamestown Regional Medical Center Foundation partner to eliminate barriers for women to receive care. Again this year, those agencies will host No Excuses, which encourages women to schedule preventative screenings like mammograms and pap smears. No Excuses reduces common barriers to care like transportation, childcare, appointments during after-work hours and financial responsibility.
No Excuses is important, said Robin Iszler, registered nurse and unit administrator at Central Valley Health, because cancer is the leading cause of death for Stutsman County residents ages 45-84. In Stutsman County, about 3 in 10 women are not up to date on their mammograms, according to the Stutsman County Health Rankings. With the help of No Excuses, that number has improved from 4 in 10 in 2013.
“We’re proud to move the needle on women’s health,” Iszler said. “But we know we have more work to do.”
In 2017, more than 20 women enrolled in the No Excuses program. Since its inception, No Excuses has helped more than 100 women receive these life-saving screenings. Because of No Excuses, women received services that some of them otherwise could not afford.
“We’re grateful to R.M. Stoudt and the summer Running of the Pink event. Because of that financial support, we can offer No Excuses at no cost to individual patients,” JRMC Foundation Director Lisa Jackson said.
In 11 years, R.M. Stoudt has raised more than $100,000 for women’s health programs.
In addition, while finances are often a concern when scheduling care, time is another. Women are often caregivers, Jackson said, and prioritize others before themselves.
New this year, the community healthcare partners are offering a second No Excuses, specifically for educators and support staff.
“We know how hard it is for teachers, paras and support staff to get away from the classroom,” said Trisha Jungels, JRMC Chief Nursing Officer and Interim President & CEO. “We blocked our schedules for time when we know school is not in session to accommodate this special population. Educators and support staff do so much to care for others. This is our opportunity to care for them.”
Whether it’s time, finances or any other barrier to care, No Excuses is available to all women.
“If you’ve never had a mammogram or pap smear – or – if it’s been a long time, you are definitely the woman we are looking for,” said Iszler.
No Excuses for educators and support staff is set for 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3 and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12 (Veterans Day). The traditional No Excuses, open to all women, is set for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23 and 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24. To reduce wait times, scheduling is preferred; however, walk-ins are welcome.
To learn more about no excuses, mammograms, pap smears or to request an appointment, call (701) 952-5348.