News Release

Health Department of Northwest Michigan
serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego Counties
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Appointments for free mammograms available in Charlevoix for eligible women

(January 19, 2011) A few appointments are still available for women eligible for the Health Department's Breast & Cervical Cancer Control Program next week. Eligible women are age 40 to 64 from Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, or Otsego counties without health insurance or without coverage for mammograms and who meet income guidelines. Thanks to local grants, women from Antrim and Charlevoix counties will receive gas gift cards to help with expenses to travel to and from their appointments.

"Many women are surprised at how high the income guidelines are for the BCCCP program," said Pat Fralick, Director of Family & Community Health Services for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. "They think Health Department programs are only for people with severe financial needs."

Fralick said the guidelines are based on family size. For example, a woman with a family of four can have an income up to $55,000 and qualify for BCCCP. The program includes a clinical breast exam, Pap test, mammogram, and if further testing is needed that is covered too. Cancer treatment is covered by the Medicaid Treatment Act.

BCCCP clients are also eligible for the WISEWOMAN program. The WISEWOMAN program focuses on reducing risk factors for heart disease. Clients receive blood pressure and cholesterol screening, a health history review, and assessment of current behaviors related to nutrition, physical activity, and smoking. Based on their risk, clients work with public health nurses to make goals to improve their health. The nurses offer support, reinforcement, and education during lifestyle counseling sessions.

If they are age 50 or over, BCCCP clients may also receive screening for colorectal cancer.

"These programs are very important for our BCCCP clients," said Fralick. "Often, the annual exam they receive at the Health Department is the only visit they make to a health care provider."

"Preventing and identifying disease early is what we are all about. We say, 'Do it for yourself, do it for your family.'"

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. For additional information about the BCCCP program, or to schedule an appointment in Mancelona, Charlevoix, Petoskey/Harbor Springs, or Gaylord, call 800-432-4121.