Hospital to use state grant to start breast cancer program

From Illinois Business Journal news services

ALTON – Alton Memorial Hospital was recently awarded $24,976 from the Illinois Department of Public Health through the Carolyn Adams Ticket for the Cure.

The hospital will utilize the funds to establish “The Early Detection Connection,” a program to provide education, support and interventions that promote early detection of breast cancer. Dr. Nikol McDonald, Dr. Sonia Matthews and Dr. Jamie North Ware with Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation will serve as physician champions for breast health awareness.

“Everyone knows someone who is fighting breast cancer,” said Marlene Lewis, Development officer at AMH and the project director. “Statistics show that one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer during her lifetime. The key to survival is early detection. We’re very grateful to the Carolyn Adams Ticket for the Cure for giving us this opportunity to remind women to get screened.”

A breast health ad campaign, “We’ve Heard it All,” is underway during April and focuses on the many reasons that women avoid getting a mammogram – including no time, no money, fear, and lack of family history. The physicians will counter these objections in a straightforward, matter-of-fact manner – stressing the early detection connection and its effect on survivorship.

Alton Memorial Hospital will partner with Bread of Life Fellowship Church at its annual “Woman in the Mirror” event on Saturday, May 9, at 1 p.m. The event will be held at the Atrium Hotel & Conference Center, 3800 Homer Adams Parkway in Alton (formerly the Alton Holiday Inn). This event attracts more than 250 attendees annually. Dr. McDonald will present “Reducing Your Risk of Breast Cancer” at the event.

AMH will partner with Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, 1 E. Sixth St. in Alton, to host a Breast Health Boot Camp from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, June 13. Speakers will include Dr. McDonald and a member of the church who will share her personal experiences with breast cancer. For event information, contact Marlene Lewis in the AMH Development office at (618) 463-7701.

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