For the past four years, Primary Health Network (PHN) has been awarded various grants through the Susan G. Komen Foundation, supporting breast health education and early breast cancer detection and support. Awarded funds have been used to assist Primary Health Network patients across Mercer, Lawrence, and Beaver County who are of the age to be screened for breast cancer.
Shelby Roper, Primary Health Network’s Pay for Value Manager, oversees this particular grant. She states, “As an organization, we had to create a starting point for our sites; therefore, we organized a spreadsheet that tracked all patients in our system that were due or overdue for a mammogram screening. We then would assist our sites in communicating and connecting patients for screening.” As mentioned earlier, education is a key aspect of the grant.
In 2015, PHN’s first grant project supported by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Bonnie Dickson, Primary Health Network’s Outreach Specialist, performed over 80 home visits to Amish populations in Lawrence County to educate on the importance of regular screenings and early dedication. Shelby spearheaded the efforts for updating and managing the system for reminding patients of needed mammograms. She also assisted in sending reminder letters to patients, with brief educational information regarding breast health and the importance of mammograms.
For the 2018 project, Primary Health Network established a Breast Health Navigator Program. This program hired a Breast Care Navigator to follow patients from an abnormal screening to diagnostic treatment and through all necessary treatment, and will be implemented be at PHN’s Beaver County sites for this grant period.
Primary Health Network does not offer mammograms on site, but refers to other organizations which do. It is because of these partnerships that over 1,000 women have been educated and/or screened for breast cancer. Of that 1,000, there were 7 women diagnosed with breast cancer, who were then sent for follow-up care. Early detection and intervention is so important because it not only reduces the risk for complications, but provides an opportunity for early treatment. PHN’s continuing partnership with the Susan G. Komen Foundation has positively impacted our patients since 2015, and our commitment to quality continues to drive these ongoing programs.