Dozens of women receive “great blessing” of free health screenings
Women from around central Indiana received free health services during the first See, Test & Treat program in Indianapolis. The two-day event was organized by the Indiana University National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health (NCoE) at the Gennesaret Free Clinic location on Keystone Avenue near East New York Street. Indiana University School of Medicine students and doctors gave women cervical screenings, breast exams and mammograms.
“The testing was quick, fast and accurate, so that was definitely a plus,” said Leslie Wafford, who says it was her first time visiting a free clinic. “There are a lot of women in my family who have had cervical cancer, so they’ve had to get hysterectomies. With me carrying that gene, I want to make sure I’m around for my daughter.”
Wafford had a great aunt who passed away from cervical cancer because she didn’t see a doctor and says she didn’t want to make the same mistake. She says she saw the need for the free clinic when she came inside for her appointment.
“At first when I walked in, I was the only person,” said Wafford. “Then I looked up, it was five more coming in the door. It’s definitely good community outreach.”
Another woman, Cathy Howard, found out about the event online. She says she was very impressed with her experience.
“I had my sugar levels taken, my BMI taken, height, weight, and the results right then and there,” said Howard, who lives in Noblesville. “Getting that information and that instant feedback so you understand where you stand, what you need to be doing and the important aspects of your health, it’s been a great blessing.”
Howard says she also appreciated that the physicians sent copies of her imaging to her primary care doctor so she could keep track of her history of breast health. She says she usually goes to a doctor every year, but wasn’t able to this year.
“This just happens to be a year when I’m having hardship and I really needed to have a service or an outreach,” said Howard. “I feel very blessed that I took the time to do this.”
Even though this was the first time the See, Test & Treat event happened in Indianapolis, NCoE already partners with the Gennesaret Free Clinic to do free screenings twice a month. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD, FACP, who is the executive director of NCoE says they’re proud to contribute to this effort.
“I think we all recognize that we want to do better,” said Rohr-Kirchgraber. “We want to do more. No woman in the state of Indiana should ever die from cervical cancer again. We don’t care who you are, where you were born, what kind of income you have. We just want this to get taken care of for you.”
The See, Test & Treat event was made possible through a grant from the College of American Pathologists Foundation (CAP Foundation). Maryrose Murphy, MS, MBA, who is the executive director of the CAP Foundation says they try to make sure patients feel comfortable and welcome throughout the clinic experience. She says they may be able to bring the program back to Indianapolis in the future.
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.