Sometimes, we are our own barrier to care.
Since 2015, Central Valley Health and Jamestown Regional Medical Center have collaborated to reduce barriers for women’s health. In that time, more than 100 women have received 3D mammograms and preventative services they otherwise wouldn’t have due to time, finances, transportation or lack of insurance coverage.
The program is called No Excuses and funding from R.M. Stoudt’s annual Running of the Pink event supports it. In the 12 years of ROP, R.M. Stoudt has raised more than $100,000 for women’s care in this community.
In any given year, 30 percent of women over 40 in Stutsman County are not up to date on their mammograms. Knowing this, JRMC offered a special No Excuses day to its employees in 2018.
“By calculating the age and gender of our 330 employees, we estimated that 39 of them were behind on their annual screenings,” said Trisha Jungels, chief nursing officer. “This saddened us. These women have access to care. They have insurance. What they needed was support. So we gave it to them.”
Last year, about 50 women participated in No Excuses. Of them, 26 were JRMC employees.
“It shouldn’t have surprised us that women who devote their careers to caring for others hadn’t made time to care for themselves,” Jungels said. “We’re so glad, however, that they did. These screenings are important.”
One in eight women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. Catching it early can mean the difference between keeping the breast or needing surgery to remove it.
Knowing that support and encouragement is often a barrier to care, JRMC and Central Valley are offering No Excuses days to special community groups, in addition to days for the general public.
“We are proud to care for the people who care for our young people. Like healthcare workers, educators and support staff often put other’s first which delays getting care that helps them prevent and/or treat cancer,” said JRMC Radiology Manager Jason Schaffer.
Based on national utilization data, 1,346 Stutsman County women over age 40 have not had their mammograms in two years. About 3,000 of them are behind on their cervical screenings.
No Excuses isn’t just for women who can’t afford it. Busy moms, grandmothers and professionals are also worthy candidates.
“If you’ve never had a mammogram, or it’s been a long time, you are definitely the woman we are looking for,” said Robin Iszler, registered nurse and unit administrator at Central Valley Health.
This year, No Excuses is set for:
For more information on No Excuses, call JRMC at (701) 952-5348. To schedule a mammogram for any other day, call JRMC Mammography at (701) 952-4852.