JEFFERSON — In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Ashe Memorial Hospital hosted its annual Women’s Health Day Tuesday, Oct. 1, offering free health screenings for women across Ashe County.
From 4 to 8 p.m., uninsured women 40 years old or older were invited to AMH to undergo free mammogram screenings, height/weight/body mass measures, practical health tips and other free lab work.
“It is a community event to raise awareness for breast cancer,” AMH Director of Community Outreach Melissa Lewis said.
This year marked the first year the event exclusively served uninsured women, Lewis said, with around 40 women already pre-registered for the screenings by the day of the event. She added that registration was not required, and no one would be turned away. Overall, she said about 50 women came out for the opportunity.
“I think this is a true need for this community,” Lewis said. “People who are uninsured have a true need to try and stay healthy.”
The event first started around six years ago with the help of AMH CEO Laura Lambeth, Lewis said. Since then, Women’s Health Day has provided free health screenings for hundreds of women in Ashe County, she added.
Coordinating between the lab, scheduling and imagining departments with the help of 11 to 12 staff members, Lewis said the event takes a lot of organization.
After conducting screenings, Lewis said she reviews everyone’s results to see if there are any abnormalities. Women are then mailed their results, and if Lewis finds any abnormalities, she said AMH calls those patients to follow up and send those results to their family doctor, or help them find a doctor.
Radiologist David Factor provided mammogram screenings free of charge for patients, and Lewis said that AMH covered costs for the event.