In the heart of Silicon Valley, California, Women’s Health Services at El Camino Hospital’s Breast Health Center has been making a significant impact in the lives of uninsured and under-insured women throughout the South San Francisco Bay community for more than nine years. The Free Mammogram Program (FMP), offered by El Camino Hospital is an exciting, life-saving program that offers free breast imaging to uninsured and eligible under-insured women in the community, and is offered year-round at both Mountain View and Los Gatos, California locations.
“Goals-For-A-Cure” Scored Program Funding
The Free Mammogram Program at El Camino Hospital was established in February of 2009 with an initial monetary gift from the boys and girls of the Santa Clara Sporting Club soccer team and Matteo Studios. The league launched a fundraiser in 2009 called “Goals-For-a-Cure” to raise awareness and collect donations to fight against breast cancer. Through the ongoing generous support of the community, every October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 27 teams of approximately 500 adolescents compete in pink jerseys to raise money for the Free Mammogram Program through donations and a “goal-a-thon” that raises money for each goal scored. Donations are also received annually from the Los Altos Country Club 18-Hole Group.
Free Mammogram Program Meets Community Needs
The money donated is used to fund and provide free mammograms and breast ultrasounds at El Camino Hospital’s Breast Health Center for women within the community who are uninsured or under-insured and over age 40. Dr. Sila Yitta, Director of Breast Imaging & Intervention at El Camino Hospital Breast Health Center expressed that despite practicing in a largely affluent area, there are unmet needs within the community that were previously overlooked. Dr. Yitta and her team of experienced and caring professionals are thankful and proud to be able to address the under-served population needs and provide diagnostic screenings.
El Camino Hospital’s Breast Health Center uses state-of-the-art technologies and partners with other healthcare providers for referrals and other medical services. Most of their equipment has either been upgraded or purchased in the last 18 months, enabling them to provide high quality care. They also partner with other providers like Planned Parenthood to offer additional referrals and services. Following the free imaging, most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are enrolled in a special program at either Santa Clara Valley Medical Center or Stanford that take care of all their medical expenses and care going forward.
A Thriving Future
The Breast Health Center, despite limited funding, spreads the word about their Free Mammogram Program through partnerships with local clinics, advertising on their website, and annual letters. Going forward, Dr. Yitta conveyed that she would love to see the program expand so that El Camino Hospital can offer complete treatment services after a patient is diagnosed. Years later, the Free Mammogram Program continues to thrive and grow, helping underserved women in the South San Francisco Bay community access high-quality preventative care for a better quality of life.
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