Grantee Spotlight: UMC Breast Center and North Central Texas Community Healthcare Center
In this month’s installment, we are featuring two of our community grantees who serve the rural communities in North Central and West Texas. By providing much needed care to communities who face challenges in accessing breast health services, the University Medical Center Cancer Center in Lubbock and North Central Texas Community Healthcare Center in Wichita Falls work tirelessly in the fight against breast cancer.
The University Medical Center Cancer Center
The University Medical Center (UMC) Cancer Center in Lubbock, Texas is the home of the Breast Center of Excellence. It’s a nationally recognized institution that works with Texas Tech University physicians to provide West Texas residents with breast care in their local community.
The Breast Center provides breast screening services such as mammograms, ultra sounds and Breast MRIs. As a Breast Center of Excellence, the UMC Cancer Center physicians include a Fellowship-Trained Breast Radiologist, a Fellowship-Trained Breast Oncology Surgeon and Medical Oncologists who specialize in the treatment of breast cancer. The Radiation Therapy department provides cutting-edge technology. Through a multidisciplinary approach, physicians tailor the best treatment for patients.
In a wonderfully creative effort to accommodate the schedules of busy patients, the Breast Center offers a monthly after-hours screening event called “Ladies Night Out.” They understand that patients aren’t always able get their mammograms during a daytime appointment, so “Ladies Night Out” is a great alternative to ensure patients get their annual screenings.
Patients can also be assured their needs are well-taken care of with other support services such as patient navigation, nutritional support and even acupuncture.
Through their 2019-2020 Komen Community Grant, UMC offers two programs: “Breast Care Prevention and Diagnosis” and “Celebrate Today.”
The Breast Care Prevention and Diagnosis program ensures that uninsured and underinsured women in 16 West Texas counties can access screening and diagnostics services, such as clinical breast exams, screening or diagnostic mammograms or medical MRIs.
Celebrate Today provides breast cancer patients with various support services they might need during their treatment or post-treatment journey. With the program, patients can obtain lymphedema sleeves or compression garments which provide relief from post-surgical pain or swelling from lymph node removal. Additionally, wigs, eye lashes and eyebrow stencils are available to breast cancer patients who have experienced hair loss due to cancer treatment, as well as breast prosthetics and bras. For patients needing transportation assistance, Celebrate Today can also supply gas cards to offset the costs of driving to the Breast Center for treatment.
For more information on the UMC Breast Center, please visit their website at https://www.umchealthsystem.com/medical-services/cancer-care/services-programs/breast-center or call 806.775.8660
North Central Texas Community Healthcare Center
Located in Wichita Falls, the North Central Texas Community Healthcare Center (NCTCHC) provides clinical breast exams, mammograms and diagnostic services to the residents of Archer, Baylor, Clay, Montague, Wichita, Wilbarger and Wise Counties.
As a provider in a rural and medical underserved area, breast cancer early detection education and prevention strategies are key in reducing the number of women who are diagnosed at a later state of breast cancer where treatment options can become limited and outcomes poorer. Additionally, NCTCHC serves low income women who are more likely to not have health insurance, and thus have a higher chance of not accessing preventative care such as annual mammograms.
NCTCHC implements outreach programs targeting Hispanic/Latino populations in rural communities such as Vernon and Wilbarger County, and African American residents in Wichita County. This is important since both ethnic populations experience high rates of being uninsured. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanic/Latino women, and the second leading cause of cancer death among African American women after lung cancer.
For more information on the NCTCHC program, please visit their website at https://www.chcwf.com/services/breast-and-cervical-cancer/ or call 940-397-2609.