Getting creative with breast cancer screening.

It’s been a busy fall here at PUGTATO headquarters. Fall is the season of ovarian cancer awareness month, breast cancer awareness month, and this year, it also included moving to a new home and Breast Care for Washington’s official launch. Oy vey.Pugtato getting creative with breast cancer screening

Outside of my outreach work with Myriad this fall, my brain has been getting a good workout crafting up collateral and designing media campaigns in anticipation of Breast Care for Washington’s big launch.  I am thrilled to report that as of 11.27.2012, Breast Care for Washington is officially launched!

Breast Care for Washington is an organization that is near and dear to my heart. The model that BCW uses is so creative and pushes away the roadblocks that many have argued, “can’t be fixed or this is just the way it is.”  If you know me, those are two phrases that I don’t believe in.  We can always do better if others are suffering, and in DC women are suffering.

Currently, DC has the highest per capita breast cancer death rate in the United States.  If that’s just the way it is, we should be ashamed.

I can’t explain why I wanted to work in Oncology.  I’ve just always known.  I can remember back to my first year on the job at Eli Lilly, fresh out of college, having a conversation with my first manager about career development:

“Where do you want to be at Lilly long-term?” he asked me.  “Oncology,” I replied, without hesitation.

That was over nine years ago, and it hasn’t changed. As I learn more about myself, my professional and personal goals, and what drives me to get up every day, it has become crystal clear to me that I am cause driven. I want to make a difference.  I have a knack for giving others a voice and for finding solutions where others see roadblocks.  These skills have proven useful in my career.

Enter, Breast Care for Washington.  Breast Care for Washington’s health care delivery model is the first of its kind in Washington, DC.  People ask us: “How is this different from the mammovan that currently runs in DC?”

It’s totally different.

Fear, lack of access and cost are three main factors that hinder women from getting their yearly mammogram.

Our model utilizes a totally portable mammography unit, affectionately named, SOFIE. SOFIE is european technology. She is foldable and can be wheeled into community centers, churches, workplaces, etc.  We can set her up after church and provide mammograms in an environment that is comfortable and familiar to the church’s patients.  We can come to an office and provide mammograms over lunch without women having to leave work or trying to squeeze in an appointment before their children’s soccer practice.  We can go to women’s shelters and provide mammograms for those who are worried about where they will sleep that night.

Breast Care for Washington brings mammography to patients.

Fear, lack of access and cost are three main factors that hinder women from getting their yearly mammogram. Our goal is to make mammography fearless, accessible and convenient for all women.  What’s really neat about the model is that we intend to screen women with insurance and women without insurance. For women who are underinsured or uninsured, mammography will be offered at no cost.

How is that possible?

Well, that’s where the insured women come in.  Every woman who receives a mammogram by Breast Care for Washington, allows us to provide a mammogram at no cost to an uninsured woman.  In this way, once we raise all of our start up capital, we will generate a continuous revenue stream, which means we will operate as a self sufficient social venture.  Brilliant.

Thanks for reading.  Until next time, stay creative… oh, and watch this little video I made.

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