NORTHFIELD, Ill., Oct. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The lives of 166 local women were changed this month during See, Test & Treat® , a 3-day cancer screening program supported with grants from the College of American Pathologists (CAP) Foundation and the CAP. The program, held at the NorthPoint Health & Wellness Clinic in Minneapolis, Minn., offered free cervical and breast cancer screening tests to underserved and uninsured women, along with same-day diagnoses and follow-up care, during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In addition, the women had the opportunity to receive free cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes screening, as well as health information through an on-site health fair.
Tsehaytu Naizyhi of Minneapolis, Minn., was one of the women who received these life-saving screening tests during the event. Naizyhi, whose family has no health insurance, is the mother of nine children. She had never received a Pap test or a mammogram before attending See, Test & Treat at NorthPoint.
"I am grateful for the chance to know what is going on with my health," said Naizyhi. After receiving her results, she commented, "I am so relieved to know that I am healthy."
During the See, Test & Treat program, pathologists, family physicians, nurse practitioners, obstetrician/gynecologists, radiologists, nurses, and other medical professionals came together to care for patients. A nurse provided the women with their test results, and each woman had the opportunity to consult privately with a pathologist, a physician who examines cells and tissues to diagnose cancer, including cervical and breast cancer, to discuss their diagnosis and care plan. For those women who received an abnormal Pap test, coloposcopy services also were offered. The women with abnormal mammograms were scheduled at a dedicated breast center of their choice for problem solving breast imaging.
"Unfortunately, disparities in cancer screening exist in Minnesota, especially among African American, Hispanic, and Southeast Asian women," said Bradley M. Linzie, MD, FCAP, a pathologist at Hennepin County Medical Center . "The program is designed to offer early detection and treatment for breast and cervical cancer in an effort to save the lives of local women who might not otherwise have access to these important health screening tests."
To address language and cultural barriers that might otherwise keep women from receiving health care services, NorthPoint offered Somali, Hispanic, Hmong, and Laos language interpreters to assist the women throughout the process. "The thing I like about See, Test & Treat is it allows women to get their Pap test and mammogram while giving them an opportunity to share fellowship with other women, said Sandy Washington of Minneapolis, Minn., a patient navigator who assisted patients through the day. "It also empowers women to be in control of their health."
The CAP Foundation and NorthPoint partnered with local health agencies and service organizations, including the Minnesota affiliate for Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the Midwest Division of the American Cancer Society, and SAGE, Minnesota's Cancer Screening Program, to provide resource and health information to women while they waited for their test results. The women received healthy lifestyle tips, including information on the importance of a low-fat diet and how to conduct self-breast examination. In addition, Hologic donated a ThinPrep™ machine and Pap test supplies. Local businesses also provided small gifts for all women who participated in the program.
The positive impact was felt throughout the three days, as the women expressed their gratitude for the services and personal attention they received.
"This is a great program. I participated a few years ago when I was laid off and now I am in the same position with no insurance to receive health screenings. See, Test & Treat offers a great opportunity to stay in tune to your health and your body," said patient Patricia Anderson, of Eden Prairie, Minn.
This year marks the seventh See, Test & Treat program at the North Point. The clinic plans to host the event in October 2013. The first CAP See, Test & Treat program was held in McLaughlin, S.D., in October 2001.
About the CAP Foundation
The CAP Foundation supports patient-centered and humanitarian roles for pathologists, striving to connect people, especially those in need, to the lifesaving skills of pathologists. The Foundation provides funding for the See, Test & Treat program through the generous support of CAP member pathologists, staff, foundations, industry, and private donations. For more information or to donate, visit foundation.cap.org.
About the College of American Pathologist
The College of American Pathologists (CAP), celebrating 50 years as the gold standard in laboratory accreditation, is a medical society serving more than 18,000 physician members and the global laboratory community. It is the world's largest association composed exclusively of board-certified pathologists and is the worldwide leader in laboratory quality assurance. The College advocates accountable, high-quality, and cost-effective patient care.
About NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center
NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center is a comprehensive health and human services agency located in North Minneapolis. NorthPoint seeks to reduce health disparities, improve health outcomes, and enhance the overall quality of life for all residents of North Minneapolis by providing high quality medical, dental and mental health care.
SOURCE College of American Pathologists