FLORENCE — The Shoals Community Clinic is going extra pink this week as it provides potentially life-saving exams and screenings for uninsured and low-income women.
The “Paint the Clinic Pink” event, in connection with the Well Woman project, is set for Oct. 24. An appointment is required.
The clinic is partnering with the Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, Lauderdale County Radiology, and the Tri-State Center for Breast Health to provide women in the Shoals with free clinical exams and referrals for free mammograms.
Although October is a prominent time for the screenings, clinic Executive Director Bonita McCay said they host similar screenings, exams and education programs throughout the year.
“We have seen a lot of women in this program,” she added. “It’s been very popular. Women need this service, and they’re really happy to find out they qualify and it’s free.”
Low-income, uninsured women 40 to 64—as well as women 65 and older not covered by Medicare Part A—are typically covered under the Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which has helped screen more than 100,000 women since it was established in 1996.
Services under the Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program include pap smears, clinical exams, mammograms, biopsy and surgery, as needed.
Those under 40 who show signs of breast cancer may also be covered for Paint the Clinic Pink, according to McCay.
To date, the clinic has provided more than 500 cancer screenings to qualified women in northwest Alabama through the program.
“We’ve had several positive cases of breast cancer that we’ve diagnosed, and we’ve taken them through the whole process of detection, biopsy, surgery and recovery,” she added.
McCay said the motto of the Well Woman project is “take care of yourself so you can care for those you love.”
She said she hopes the Paint the Clinic Pink event will do just that.
The clinic has also held many other October events over the years to either raise awareness or raise money for breast cancer in the hopes of lessening its impact.
“Every bit of money that the (American) Cancer Society raises through events like Relay for Life—all of that goes into research, and that is helping us to have better treatment and, eventually, to eradicate this,” she said.