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Since 2011, Holy Cross Hospital's Partners in Breast Health (PIBH) program has provided outreach education, clinical breast exams, screening mammograms and diagnostic procedures to lower income and minority women age 40 and older who lack access to healthcare services. The program also offers services to symptomatic women who are younger than 40. Studies show that African American and Hispanic women - when compared to the overall population - are more likely to die from breast cancer due to late stage diagnoses and lack of screenings. Partners in Breast Health is dedicated to facilitating access to breast health care for women who do not have other resources.

Since its inception, the program has served over 2,400 women, and more than 50 percent of patients diagnosed with breast cancer have been under the age of 50, which exceeds national statistical data. PIBH aims to reduce late state breast cancer diagnosis, decrease death in minority populations and provide 1,000 screening mammograms each year to uninsured individuals living at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Holy Cross' Mobile Health Unit visits underserved communities in central and northern Broward County that have the highest percentage of poor quality health indicators. This increases the access to the PIBH program. Onboard, a physician or an advanced registered nurse practitioner provides one-on-one education, a general health assessment, clinical breast exams and mammogram prescriptions for women age 40 and older. Follow-up is included to assist patients with additional diagnostics, treatment and special needs.

Partners in Breast Health clients receive screenings and diagnostics at the Holy Cross Dorothy Mangurian Comprenshive Women's Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL and at the Holy Cross Urgent Care and Imaging Center in east Boca Raton. In addition to the Mobile Health Unit, referrals to PIBH also come from community outreach events, partner organizations and most often from other friends and family members who have benefited from the program.

PIBH is made possible by generous funding from the Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. Foundation, American Cancer Society, Women Owning Wellness (a committee of the Holy Cross Hospital Auxiliary), 1000+ Club, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and numerous private donors.

For more information about the Partners in Breast Health Program, call 954-294-0582.

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