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Norman Regional Health System
Norman – Norman Regional Health System (NRHS) has begun a new Mammogram Initiative, dedicated to improving breast health in south-central Oklahoma. This program teaches women about breast cancer risks and preventative measures and assures all unscreened women over the age of 39 have access to an annual mammogram.
NRHS received a generous grant from Komen for the Cure to begin the Mammogram Initiative. In addition to the Komen grant, the Norman Regional Health Foundation also provided financial assistance to supplement the funding.
According to Foundation Executive Director Marilyn Geiger, ”Norman Regional Health Foundation takes great pride in being a part of this proactive program to improve breast health for patients throughout the service area of our Health System. The Mammogram Initiative fits perfectly with our Foundation’s mission of enhancing excellent healthcare.”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed at NRHS. When identified early, breast cancer is most treatable, and the related instances of prolonged illness and death are greatly reduced. Mammography is the tool of choice for detecting breast cancer at the earliest possible stage, before it can be felt, by watching for the changes that occur in the breast tissue. An annual mammogram allows the interpreting radiologist the opportunity to compare the images from year to year in order to watch for these breast tissue changes.
Oklahoma is ranked 45th in the nation for women 40 and older having a mammogram in the past five years, and breast cancer is a very serious problem in our area. “The Mammogram Initiative is a comprehensive education, screening, and intervention program dedicated to assuring that female patients admitted to NRHS have excellent breast health. We want to identify breast cancer earlier when it is most treatable,” according to Cindy Barghols, coordinator of Norman Regional’s Breast Care Center.
This program will focus on helping women eighteen years of age and older understand the prevalence of breast cancer, recognize it as a serious health threat, and take preventative measures - such as performing breast self-exams.
Through the Mammogram Initiative, NRHS will identify female inpatients age thirty-nine and older that have never had a mammogram, or are not screened annually. The Mammogram Initiative team tracks these patients after they leave the hospital, sends educational material to them by mail, personally calls them to answer questions about breast health, and offers to schedule their mammogram appointment. The Mammogram Initiative is a vehicle for insured and uninsured women alike to obtain annual mammograms, and for individuals from rural areas to secure breast health services.
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