Funding Eliminates Barriers for Screening Procedures; Builds on "Get Screened, No Excuses" Initiative; One of the Most Aggressive Efforts in the Nation to Expand Screening.
Albany, NY - February 1, 2018 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $37.7 million in funding as part of the "Get Screened, No Excuses" initiative to improve access to breast cancer screening for New Yorkers. Funds are being used to support peer educators in community settings, make patient navigators available to help women as they undergo screening and other necessary follow-up care, and operate mobile mammography vans in underserved neighborhoods to bring health services to New Yorkers.
"This administration continues the most aggressive action in the nation to break down any barriers to breast cancer screening because early detection is the best possible treatment," Governor Cuomo said. "By providing information on the importance of mammograms and expanding access to cutting-edge screening options, these programs will address the needs of thousands of New Yorkers and help establish healthier, stronger communities in every corner of this great state."
"Building off of New York State's successful Get Screened, No Excuses campaign to promote breast cancer screenings statewide, we are continuing to double down on our efforts and invest in healthcare and education programs that increasingly expand access to these potentially life-saving services," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. "We know mammograms and cancer screenings must be available for all New Yorkers. That's how we'll continue to save lives."
Launched in October 2016, 10 peer education programs work within community settings to educate women about the importance of regular breast cancer screening, offer referrals to screening, and provide information to men about prostate cancer. Thirty-three patient navigation programs, which also launched in 2016 and are located within many of New York's nationally accredited breast centers, help women navigate the healthcare system to complete screening and provide any needed follow-up. Funding is also supporting the purchase of six new mobile mammography vans that will begin offering breast cancer screenings in 2018 to make it easier for women to get to these services. The funding will enable contractors to form community partnerships across several counties to promote and conduct local breast cancer screening events.
These statewide programs are successfully reducing barriers to breast cancer screening for women, including those who lack access to preventive health care because they are economically disadvantaged, live in underserved inner-cities, or live in remote rural areas.
The awardees for each initiative are included below by region:
"Early detection is a key to better health outcomes and saving lives," said Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker. "Governor Cuomo's package of breast cancer programs will have a tremendous impact on the lives of tens of thousands of New York women and their families."
"Increased access to breast cancer screening will save lives," said Kemp Hannon, Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Health. "This funding to expand programs throughout the state will reduce barriers and help countless women."
"Women should not face financial barriers to breast cancer screening," said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried. "This critical funding will help ensure access to screening in community settings and support for follow-up care."
Today's announcement builds on the successful "Get Screened, No Excuses" initiatives currently in place and available to all New Yorkers regardless of insurance status. These efforts include legislation requiring hospitals and hospital extension clinics to offer extended hours for mammography screening; legislation that prohibits insurers subject to New York State law from requiring cost-sharing for screening mammograms and diagnostic testing; expanded paid leave for public employees to receive breast cancer screening; and a public awareness campaign to encourage screening.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among women in New York State. Each year, over 15,000 women in New York State are newly diagnosed with breast cancer, and approximately 2,500 die from the disease. Screening for breast cancer can increase the likelihood of identifying cancer at an early stage when treatment is most successful.