PORTLAND and LEWISTON, Maine (October 16, 2013) – This time of year in Maine, Saturdays are spent with family and friends at pumpkin farms, apple orchards and harvest parties. At Patient Advocates, Saturdays are about saving women’s lives. Patient Advocates, a health plan and employee benefits company, is expanding their Saturday mammography screening program. Initially launched at Mercy Hospital in Portland, the program now includes St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. Screenings are being conducted on Saturday October 19th at St. Mary’s and on Saturday, October 26th at Mercy.
These special Saturday screenings at St. Mary’s Imaging Services will become more prevalent to accommodate demand as St. Mary’s joins Patient Advocates and Mercy Hospital to work together and help Maine women get this necessary test for early detection.
“We have a long commitment to breast health programs. And, we see this as just one more way that women can have access to key services,” said Russ Donahue, Director of Marketing for St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.
“With the expansion of our screening program, comes an even stronger passion to fight against breast cancer. Breast cancer is a devastating disease that will affect 1 in 8 women during their lifetime. Statistics show that a simple mammogram is a woman’s best chance at catching and combating this disease. We are an advocate of early detection; and feel access to testing supports those efforts to make a difference. We are pleased to welcome St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in joining our fight against this disease,” said James Ward, president of Patient Advocates.
Launched in 2011, Patient Advocates’ Saturday mammography screening program offers a chance for current clients to take the first step in breast cancer prevention. During a hectic work week, maintaining appointments can be an impossible task. With the program expanding to include St. Mary’s, there is hope that events like these will become a permanent practice. Members of the wellness staff from Patient Advocates will be on site for the screenings. If breast cancer is detected through the screening process, a nurse advocate from Patient Advocates will also work closely with the patient by providing support and guidance through the difficult time.
Several studies have shown that the percentage of women receiving mammograms has declined in recent years. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and these screening events will generate awareness and create an opportunity for women to care for themselves and take the first step toward prevention. At the events, patients will receive pink bracelets, pink ribbon pins and refreshments.