National Breast Cancer Foundation grant

Novant Health Cancer Prevention, Education and Early Detection team receives $10k grant from the National Breast Cancer Foundation for breast health services

A grant supporting screening and diagnostic services in Charlotte and the surrounding communities will help under/uninsured and minority individuals stay on top of breast health.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) awarded a $10,000 grant to fund screening and diagnostic services in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties for those who may be without resources through Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation.

Saad Ehtisham, FACHE, president of Presbyterian Medical Center and the Novant Health greater Charlotte market, understands the need for such programs and is grateful for the support.

“This year, NBCF funding will provide 33 screening mammograms with one-on-one breast health education and 15 diagnostic procedures. Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center and Novant Health Cancer Prevention, Education and Early Detection (NHCPED) team members, along with our underserved and uninsured patients, appreciate NBCF’s generous ongoing support, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ehtisham said. “More patients than ever have limited financial resources or lack health insurance because of pandemic-related job closures.”

Hundreds of Mecklenburg County’s most vulnerable residents will be able to have life-saving mammography screenings and diagnostic services at no cost to prevent late-stage breast cancer diagnoses thanks to our partnership with the NBCF.

The need remains great, and the waiting list for breast screening and diagnostic services is long. Collaborative efforts between NHCPED team members, led by Maria Kuklinski-Long, and local free clinics in targeted communities have yielded positive results in addressing disparities and increasing access to quality breast health care. 

Underinsured, uninsured and minority populations in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties encounter many obstacles to breast health care, including transportation, language and financial barriers. The NHCPED team provides no-cost screenings and bilingual education on two mobile units and refers individuals in need of diagnostic services to conveniently located imaging centers. The team prioritizes under/uninsured individuals for breast screening and diagnostic services to ensure no individual delays services based on ability to pay. 

Douglas Feil, NBCF chief program officer, stressed the importance of the partnership with Novant Health.

“We are proud to partner with Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center,” Feil said. “Novant Health was a stabilizing force during the pandemic, and they continue that work by ensuring the communities they serve have accessible, high-quality screenings and breast care.”

NBCF funding enables NHCPED team members to provide three-dimensional mammograms, breast health education, diagnostic mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsies and patient navigation.

Since 2008, NBCF funding has supported 1,087 screening mammograms and accompanying one-on-one, evidence-based breast health education, as well as 1,037 diagnostic services.