BANGOR – The Bangor Region YMCA and Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center welcomed representatives from the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program on Aug. 4.
Lisa McGovern, executive director of the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program and spouse of U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Massachusetts, Mary Herman, spouse of U.S. Sen. Angus King, and Isobel Golden, spouse of U.S. Rep. Jared Golden were in attendance as the Medical Center and Bangor Region YMCA leadership explained the organizations’ more than 26 year partnership in caring for cancer patients and their loved ones.
A recipient of the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Community Grants Program, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center reported on how the funds have been used to reduce barriers to access mammography screenings.
Director of Breast Services, Catherine Schureman, BSN, RN, states, “The CDC reports rural communities saw as much as an 89 percent reduction in patients seeking cancer screening through COVID. Knowing early detection is critical, we set out to remove as many barriers as possible so our patients could access mammography services.”
As a result of process improvements and new programs, the average wait time for mammograms has been reduced from 110 days to four days and the percentage of patients who are past due for mammography screenings in the Medical Center’s primary care system has been reduced from 46 to 16 percent.
A key partner in this initiative has been the Bangor Region YMCA and their Caring Connections program. Among many services they offer patients with cancer and their loved ones are transportation and childcare that may otherwise be a barrier to cancer screenings.
Following the site visit McGovern states, “Today we are pleased to spotlight the valuable work of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center and the Bangor Regional YWCA that, with the support of a grant from the Prevent Cancer Foundation, are addressing barriers to breast cancer screenings to decrease no-shows and increase screening rates to detect cancer early when treatment outcomes are most promising.”
Individuals who would like to schedule a mammogram may call 207-973-8500 or schedule their mammogram at their convenience online at northernlighthealth.org/Services/Womens-Health/Breast-Care.