Women’s Health Network
The Women's Health Network has been funded by a grant from the Susan G. Komen Central and South Jersey Affiliate
Through a partnership with the Central and South Jersey Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, Jewish Family Service (JFS) has established a program to help women who are dealing with mental health issues navigate the healthcare system. The JFS Women’s Health Network provides information, resources and links to services to help women maintain optimum health. The Network is dedicated to teaching health awareness, offering wellness practices and providing a feeling of connection to a caring community.
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Individuals with a mental health diagnosis often have barriers to care due to a variety of factors (education, fear, insurance, fragmented care). By creating awareness through education, the Women’s Health Network increases healthcare access by promoting consumer compliance through intensive case management. JFS staff and other mental health professionals provide crucial educational information about breast health and offer breast screening opportunities for those women in our community who are not currently being served.
Education is a key component of the mission of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and its Affiliates in its efforts to eradicate breast cancer as a life threatening disease.
The Network strives to help women become aware of the risks related to getting breast cancer, the benefits of screening, the need for clinical examinations and healthy lifestyle choices. Through awareness workshops, women learn what is normal for their bodies and how to perform self breast examinations Breast health trainings are offered to case managers, JFS clients and outside agencies that work with this population. These sessions are the precursor to achieving breast screening compliance.
A mammogram can detect cancer up to two years before it can be felt. Early detection of breast cancer means there are more treatment options and improved results. The Network, in conjunction with the AtlantiCare Mobile Mammography Van, offers breast screening opportunities to create a safe and comfortable environment and reduce barriers that may exist to obtaining screening. JFS coordinates several opportunities throughout the year for women to receive screening at an on-site or convenient location. Many of the women who participate in the program may not otherwise get screened due to lack of education, insurance or transportation. As an incentive for participating and completing the screening process, participants receive a twenty-dollar gift card.
JFS hosts seminars and healthy living events throughout the year. A particular focus of the Network is breast cancer awareness and treatment for women and their families. The annual Wellness & Recovery Conference offers a series of wellness workshops for individuals challenged by mental illness. The women attending this event have the opportunity to obtain their annual breast screening on the AtlantiCare Mobile Mammography van with the support of JFS outreach staff. In addition, the Women’s Health Fair features nutritional tips, massage and beauty treatments to encourage women to take care of their health.
JFS aims to increase participation in annual breast cancer screenings among women between the ages of 40 and 64. Over a twelve month period, 150 consumers of mental health services will be monitored for breast cancer screening compliance. An additional 150 women will learn risk factors associated with breast cancer through education workshops and one-to-one counseling. JFS strives to assist 75 women in scheduling appointments with the AtlantiCare Mobile Mammography Van or other screening facilities as well as follow up on screening results.
For more information about the JFS Women’s Health Network, please contact Project Director Sharon Simon at 609-822-1108 or email.
About Central & South Jersey Affiliate of Susan G. Komen
Susan G. Komen fought breast cancer with her heart, body and soul. Throughout her diagnosis, treatments, and endless days in the hospital, she spent her time thinking of ways to make life better for other women battling breast cancer instead of worrying about her own situation. That concern for others continued even as Susan neared the end of her fight. Moved by Susan’s compassion for others and committed to making a difference, Nancy G. Brinker promised her sister that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever.
That promise is now Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested more than $1.9 billion since inception in 1982. Since launching the breast cancer movement more than 29 years ago, Komen transformed the culture how the world talks about and treats this devastating disease by helping turn millions of patients into breast cancer survivors.
The Central and South Jersey Affiliate is part of the world’s largest and most progressive grassroots network fighting breast cancer and is committed to increasing screening mammography to save lives through early detection. Twenty-five percent of the Affiliate proceeds support innovative national breast cancer research programs while the remaining 75% supports local programs in 13 counties in New Jersey - Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Salem, and Somerset.
Through events like the Komen Central and South Jersey Affiliate Race for the Cure® has invested $20 million in community breast cancer programs in its service area.
For more information, call 609-896-1201 or visit http://www.komencsnj.org.