Grant funding available for needed mammograms

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Paulette Arnold is now looking forward to a long life after beating cancer in January. However, the program that helped her could now lose money.

Venecia Harris, who works at Baptist Memorial Hospital, said she drives around Memphis on a bus and helps women without health insurance receive potentially lifesaving screenings through a grant by the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

So far, Harris said the grant has been awarded every year for the past 20 years.

"But this year we have quite a bit of funding that's leftover that we have to spend in such a short period of time," Harris said.

She said they were awarded a $104,000 grant last year. Now, they need to spend about $40,000 before the grant expires in July.

Harris said they want to spend all of the money or she worries the grant could be smaller next year if they don't.

"We make this available to them so they're able to get their screenings and we target the high-risk zip codes," Harris said.

A map by the Office of Healthcare Statistics shows the areas of Memphis that have the highest risk. Those areas include parts of Raleigh and South Memphis, matching up to areas of poverty.

Arnold is urging women everywhere to sign up for screenings. The sooner, the better.

"Ask for help because there's help out there for you," Arnold said. "I am now a survivor."

For more information about the Komen grant and getting a free or reduced-price mammogram, call 901-226-0830. You can also visit the Sister Pact website to get a mammogram on the Baptist Mobile Mammography Unit.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.