Health Promotion & Education
Women's Health Network
Breast & Cervical Cancer Control Program
What is the Women’s Health Network?
The Women’s Health Network (WHN) program contracts with 30 medical sites in Kent, Muskegon, Barry and Ottawa counties to offer the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control and Navigation program. This national and State of Michigan program offers free mammograms, clinical breast exams, Pap smears and pelvic exams to women who qualify, as well as follow-up care, medical referrals, and cancer treatment.
Why is this a focus of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD)?
Michigan women. Early detection is the best key to survival and optimal health. With regular screening, breast cancer is more likely to be detected at an earlier stage, when it is most treatable. The five-year survival rate among women whose breast cancer has not spread beyond the breast at the time of diagnosis is 99%!
Cervical cancer rates in Michigan continue to decline as well. Early detection of the Human papilloma Virus, HPV, from regular Pap tests, along with appropriate and timely follow up care continue to increase survival rates. Cervical cancer is a slower growing cancer which when detected early and accompanied with simple lifestyle changes greatly improve outcomes.
The Kent County Health Department affirms that lack of access to regular screenings within communities with lower socioeconomic levels creates disparate medical care disadvantages. The Women’s Health Network is an active partner in reducing this disparity with addressing transportation, language and access for participants.
How is Kent County Health Department addressing this issue?
The Kent County Health Department believes in empowering individuals to be active participants in their health care. Wellness screening services for women involve annual visits with their medical care provider to assess their individual risks for certain conditions and disease. The Women’s Health Network offers access for women to their annual exam. This primarily involves age appropriate screenings such as mammograms, clinical breast examinations, pelvic examinations and Pap tests are proven services to detect abnormalities and to diagnose cancers as early as possible. Additionally, follow up care and treatment are also available and covered. The Women’s Health Network can assist women who may need help with navigating health care and medical referrals. Services include help with finding a medical provider, making appointments, assistance with insurance questions, sharing transportation options, translation, family care needs, and referrals to local resources and access to health education and information.
To qualify, women must meet certain criteria based on income, insurance and age, such as:
- Income criteria:
- Have an income <250% of federal poverty level (see chart below).
- Insurance coverage:
- No insurance to cover medical care (Medicare and Medicaid cover mammograms and well visits).
- Insurance does not cover medical services, including follow up and diagnostic care. Examples may include deductibles and out of pocket expenses are too costly, etc.
- Age guidelines:
- Be 40 - 64 years for breast and cervical health screening, follow-up and treatment services, OR
- Be under 39 years for breast and cervical follow up and treatment services.
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For more information, please call (616) 632-7283 or (888) 515-1300, se habla espanol, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.