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Program aims to help more women catch breast cancer sooner

Breast health program at Arvada established thanks to local monies raised

DENVER – Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains today announced that it is expanding its education, outreach, and services for breast health to patients in Colorado.

The announcement is part of a nationwide expansion of Planned Parenthood’s breast health programs, made possible by an outpouring of support and donations from the public response to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s decision to exclude Planned Parenthood from their grant process in late January.

When this national edict originally came down, the Denver and Aspen Komen affiliates decried the direction from their national office.  Though Komen quickly reversed course, nearly $67,000 in online donations came to PPRM in Colorado to support Planned Parenthood’s role in providing  to life-saving breast health services to people most in need.

As a result of the monies raised locally and in keeping with our donors’ wishes and our commitment to breast health services, PPRM is proud to announce the creation of the Breast Health Services Project at our Arvada health center.

“The initial response following the Komen decision was overwhelming,” said Vicki Cowart, PPRM president and CEO. “We are so grateful to the community for their support of Planned Parenthood and their recognition of the important role we play in our communities by providing these life-saving cancer screenings. We know that in these tough economic times, more women than ever need access to essential health care services.”

The Arvada health center, located at 7853 N. Wadsworth Blvd, will receive support for the Breast Health Services Project to provide breast health screenings and breast self awareness education in an effort to prevent breast cancer for uninsured and underinsured women.

In 2011, the Arvada health center saw over 8,000 patients, 69 percent of whom had no applicable form of insurance, additionally, it is not currently being served by a Komen grant.

In addition, PPRM was awarded a $30,000 grant from Planned Parenthood Federation of America to help cover costs associated with follow-up care. When Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses identify potential breast abnormalities in patients, they refer patients for diagnostic follow-up care. Various Planned Parenthood health centers throughout the state will have these funds available.

Already, PPRM is a trusted provider of breast cancer screening for women in Colorado. Last year, PPRM provided breast cancer screening for 15,452 women. Nationwide, Planned Parenthood health centers provide breast cancer screening for nearly 750,000 women each year.

The expanded breast health program will give more women access to lifesaving cancer screenings, diagnostic services, and educational resources to help them identify potential breast health issues early, and make the best decisions about their health care.
“At Planned Parenthood, we are committed to removing the barriers that stand in the way of women getting screened for breast cancer,” said Cowart. “Whether it’s a clinical exam, necessary follow-up services like biopsies or ultrasounds, or information about their options—we’re pleased that we can serve our communities with vital screenings and follow-up care.”

PPRM’s client-centered cancer screening intervention services include breast self-awareness education, clinical breast exams, and diagnostic referrals to clients most at risk for breast cancer. During these visits clients are educated on how to reduce the risk factors for breast cancer; such as diet, exercise, monitoring their bodies for changes, knowing their family history and knowing their risk factors.

Planned Parenthood is a critical resource for women in the fight to detect breast cancer early. One in five women has turned to Planned Parenthood at some time in her life for health care. To learn more, go to www.pprm.org or call 1.800.230.PLAN.


Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains empowers individuals and families in the communities we serve to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health by providing high quality health services, comprehensive sex education, and strategic advocacy. More than 123,000 women, men, and young adults annually visit our 28 health centers throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada, and Wyoming. Since 1916, we have been the region’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care. For more information about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, call 1.800.230.PLAN or visit pprm.org for the health center nearest you.


Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Inc.


Monica McCafferty


August 20, 2012