Free women's health exams for qualifying women

Women’s health services offered free to qualifying Island women

Some Island women are able to take advantage of a state program that offers free clinical exams and mammograms to those who qualify, since two Island health clinics have contracted with the program this year.

Regular health exams, including a breast exam, a pap smear and a mammogram should be a part of every woman’s health care regimen. For many women, accessing health care services can be difficult. Other women don’t consider themselves to be at high risk for cancer.

For those who pay for screenings out of pocket, mammograms don’t always happen. Therefore, many women for different reasons, don’t always have the all-important preventive health screenings.

If cost or lack of insurance is a problem, the Washington Breast and Cervical Health program (WBCHP) provides low-income women ages 40 to 64 with a free clinical exam and a mammogram.

Through education and support, WBCHP can help women feel safe and in control of their health when they have regular exams. Women who are in need of treatment can qualify for the Medicaid treatment program that will see women through the treatment phase if they are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer.

“I’m so glad I’m a part of the program because there are so many women these days who have high-deductible health insurance and can’t afford to do their screening, and this will allow them to be able to access health care,” said Kelly Wright, a practitioner at Vashon Natural Medicine. “The program gives women peace of mind and shows that having regular health exams, pap tests and mammograms can save the life of a woman.”

Wright said her clinic has been contracted to provide free services to at least 40 Island women in 2008.

Vashon Island has two clinics that accept patients in cooperation with WBCHP: Vashon Health Center at 463-3671 or Vashon Natural Medicine at 463-4778. To find out more about the program and who qualifies for it, call 1-800-756-5437.

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