Page Free Clinic providing cancer screenings to uninsured women
LURAY, Va. (WHSV) - The Page Free Clinic in Luray is working to provide free preventative breast and cervical cancer screenings to women without health insurance.
The clinic offers the screenings once a month as part of its participation in the Every Women’s Life program. The free screenings are available to women ages 50 to 64.
“The idea is to provide general women’s health screenings for cervical cancer, breast cancer, and get a comprehensive visit. If we find any sort of abnormalities in those results they’re fast-tracked to Medicaid so this way they can get insurance,” said Ben Dolewski, executive director of the Page Free Clinic.
The clinic estimates that around 12% of Page County residents do not have health insurance and says there is a sizeable population of women that have never had a well-woman check or mammography.
According to the clinic, this is a problem as breast cancer screenings should be done every two years starting at age 50 and cervical cancer screenings every 3 to 5 years starting at age 21.
“Those specialty kinds of services like dental care and women’s health are generally put on the back burner when folks don’t have health insurance. It usually costs a little more so people are hesitant to be seen,” said Dolewski.
In the event, that an abnormality is detected in screening the clinic can provide people with the resources they need through its partnership with Valley Health.
“We can get folks on a financial assistance program or in many cases a completely free diagnostic screening. So a lot of times if they need an x-ray, mammography, cat scan, those sort of things we can get them for free or on some sort of financial assistance program,” said Dolewski.
The Page Free Clinic is open on Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and is operated by nurses and doctors who volunteer their time.
To be eligible for the free clinic, you must be a Page County resident between the ages of 19 and 64 with an income level of 0 to 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
To make an appointment for a cancer screening, you can call 540-743-1054. You can learn more about the free clinic here.
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