Free mammograms for uninsured women

Posted on May 7, 2013 by Sonoma Valley Sun

For the month of May, the Sonoma Valley Hospital will provide free mammograms to uninsured and underinsured Sonoma Valley women.

The first step is to obtain an order from a physician, who can fax the information to SVH at 935.5271. Those who do not have a regular physician should call the hospital for an appointment at 935.5215 to arrange a physician’s referral.

Mammograms are provided in the comfortable atmosphere of the Sonoma Valley Hospital diagnostic imaging annex, the Carolyn J. Stone Center for Women’s Health, located at 246 Perkins St. in Sonoma.

The free service is sponsored by the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation, which last offered the program in October. That month 79 patients, who otherwise could not afford it, received the potentially life-saving screening. These exams included follow up diagnostic mammograms or breast ultrasounds, as directed by the physicians.

Since the program’s inception in 2011, the SVHF has provided payment for almost 150 breast imaging exams to uninsured and underinsured women.

Kristine Keene was grateful to receive a foundation-sponsored mammogram in October, Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 50 years old, so Keene new how important mammograms are. “Unfortunately, I have been out of work and without health insurance for awhile now and was very worried about missing my annual screening,” she explained. “I was trying to figure out how I could possibly afford a mammogram when I heard of the program at Sonoma Valley Hospital. What a relief it was to realize I didn’t have to postpone my mammogram.”

“Words cannot convey,” Keen continued, “how grateful I am for the generosity of others that makes this service possible for those of us who really need it. To SVH and everyone in the community who has made a donation – thank you. What a wonderful community this is.”

Donations to the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation make this and other programs, equipment and enhancements possible. For information about making a donation, contact Harmony Plenty at 935-5070 or [email protected]