Good Samaritan has announced that its Breast Care Center recently received nearly $10,000 from the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust — money that will directly support the health needs of area residents.

Since 2002, Breast Cancer Awareness license plates have been available in Indiana, serving as the primary funding source for the trust, which has since distributed over $6 million to organizations throughout the state for innovative projects for breast cancer screening and diagnostic and support services.

Indiana residents can purchase the special group recognition plate at the BMV for an annual fee of $40, $25 of which is a direct donation to the Breast Cancer Awareness Trust.

The funds received from the license plates are then used to support medically under-served populations across the state, doled out to medical facilities through competitive grants.

Good Samaritan has been awarded funds several times in the past.

“This is maybe the seventh or eighth time,” said Breast Care Center Manager Crystal Beadles, said of Good Samaritan’s past allocations.

Each fall, she says, information is gathered and used to show the financial need in our service area, with the trust limiting the requested amounts based on population.

The grant money locally will be used to pay for screening mammograms and diagnostic breast imaging, as well as biopsies, for uninsured and under-insured patients.

“Early detection is the best protection,” Beadles said. “Without regular mammograms, tumors could grow undetected and spread to other parts of the body.”

As with many cancers and illnesses, early intervention is key, but the under-insured — who are often low income — may put off annual exams or treatment because of financial concerns.

A 2017 study from Washington University in St. Louis found uninsured women were 60% more likely to die from breast cancer than those who had insurance. One significant factor, they found, is that the uninsured are 2.6 times more likely to receive a late-stage diagnosis.

Beadles explains that the mission of the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust is to improve access to breast cancer screening and support services — funding that could prove to be lifesaving.

“We are very appreciative of this grant and having the chance to help our patients,” she said.

Too, says Beadles, residents can stay close to home for their treatment, should they ever receive a cancer diagnosis.

“Good Samaritan has state of the art technology and a comprehensive breast center, so patients can stay here for their care.”

Indiana residents who are unable to pay for their mammograms are encouraged to call the Breast Care Center at 812-885-3627 to inquire about financial assistance.

Beadles says the process is quick and easy and based on household size and income.

“We welcome anyone interested to call us.”

For more information about the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust, visit www.BreastCancerPlate.org.

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