KBIC Health System offers breast cancer screenings to community members

Screenings are free for uninsured or under-insured women, and the service also offers flu shots and cervical exams
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 7:46 PM EDT
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BARAGA, Mich. (WLUC) - The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Health System in Baraga is offering breast cancer screenings courtesy of Spectrum Health’s Betty Ford Breast Cancer Services.

The KBIC says providing access to services like this is critical for the community.

“Breast cancer is the second-leading cancer death in American Indian women,” said KBIC CEO Brigitte LaPointe-Dunham. “So being able to provide this and get our members to their appointments is huge. We really need to provide better access to appointments like this, and not create barriers, because when there are barriers in place, a lot of times, people won’t take advantage of something like this.”

Exams are available to all community members 40 years and older who are due for a breast exam and are free for uninsured or under-insured women.

Screenings take place in a mobile mammography unit.

Patients say the process is made as comfortable as possible by staff.

“It’s as easy as can be,” said Screening Participant Helen Tollefson. “People are so cooperative here. Really nice people, and no hurt at all with this.”

According to LaPointe-Dunham, appointments have been nearly fully booked, but walk-ins are still available.

“There still is space for people to sign up,” continued LaPointe-Dunham. “They are taking walk-ins, it just might take a little longer. Just come right up here to the van here, and you’ll have a registration process and the nurses here will take you right through it.”

Additionally, participants can get a flu shot or cervical exam afterward.

“As we know,” added LaPointe-Dunham. “The school has started, and we want kids in school and sickness away, so being able to collaborate with flu shots and cervical exams, I think it’s a win-win.”

Participants will also be submitted into a drawing for prizes like iPads and Amazon gift cards.

Screenings are available again tomorrow starting at 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the KBIC Health System parking lot.

For more information, check out the event information on their Facebook page.