Free health program offered to Va. women

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 7, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Four health departments are offering a free health program to women of many income and insurance levels. The purpose is to educate women to be aware of changes in their bodies and perhaps helps save their lives..

Every Woman’s Life (EWL) is a grant-funded program that is provided to Virginia through the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The EWL provides eligible uninsured and underinsured women here the opportunity to have a free Mammogram and Pap test. EWL participants who are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer are eligible for Medicaid to cover the cost of treatment and everything is free.

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A release from the National Cervical Cancer Coalition stated that today, breast and cervical cancer are the most commonly diagnosed diseases for American women. Breast cancer ranks second to lung cancer as a leading cause of death in women. Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second or third most common cancer among women (cervical cancer and colorectal cancer are virtually tied for second place after breast cancer.) CDC has estimated that 39,800 women will die from breast cancer and 4,100 women will die from cervical cancer this year. Deaths from breast cancer occur disproportionately among women who are uninsured or underinsured.

The Virginia Department of Health has revealed that with extensive cancer research and studies, medical technology has become the cutting edge for early detection of many of these diseases. Increasing participation in cancer screening programs among women who are at greatest risk of developing breast and cervical cancers could reduce the number of breast and cervical cancer deaths.

EWL requires that you must be a resident of Virginia, age 50-64 (if appointments are available, you may also quality if you are 40-49 years old); you have no health insurance or are under insured and cannot afford to pay your insurance deductible and your yearly income falls within these guidelines:

Household Size (1), Yearly Household Income, (Up to $17,960)

Household Size (2), Yearly Household Income (Up to $24,240)

Household Size (3), Yearly Household Income (Up to


Household Size (4), Yearly Household Income (Up to $36,800)

Household Size (5) Yearly Household Income, (Up to $43,000)

The Western Tidewater Health District is a provider for these free services to women in the following locations: The Franklin Health Department at (757) 562-6109; the Isle of Wight Health Dept. at (757) 357-4177; the Southampton Health Dept. at (757) 653-3040; and the Suffolk Health Dept. at (757) 686-4900.