iKnow – Mammography Project

iKnow – Mammography Project


The Montana Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure awarded a $15,000 grant to the Northern Montana Health Care Foundation to fund breast cancer awareness education along the Hi-Line. The series of education events was called “iKnow – The Mammography Project” and provided information on the benefits of mammograms and the importance of breast cancer awareness and prevention.

“Our goal was to provide education and reduce the fear that comes along with having that first mammogram,” said Christen Obresley, Executive Director. “We named the project ‘iKnow’ because we want women to understand mammography and feel empowered with the knowledge they need to fight breast cancer.”

NMHCF hosted a series of fun, evening events in Big Sandy, Chester, Chinook, Fort Belknap, Harlem, and Havre. Nancy Salapich, a Certified Mammography Technologist, gave participants a sneak peek into how mammography screening works and answered many of the questions that women have about the process.

“We wanted to reach women between the ages of 40 and 64 who either haven’t had their first mammogram, wanted to know more about mammograms or wanted to support their daughters, sisters or friends in getting that first baseline mammogram,” Obresley said. “These were fun, casual events where Hi-Line women came together to support breast cancer prevention.”

Obresley said the grant money was used to host the events but there was also more than $3,000 to fund mammograms and needle biopsies for uninsured or underinsured patients. The Mammography Project also worked with the Montana Cancer Control Program to connect women with free mammograms.

NMHCF was honored to provide this education to the Hi-Line communities and help to meet health care needs in northern Montana.

“To meet needs identified in Montana, this year’s grant slated addresses in high poverty areas and communities with limited screening facilities,” said Cynthia Gustafson, PhD, Grant Chair of the Komen Montana Board.

In order to ensure it was funding programs that address the specific unmet breast cancer needs throughout Montana, the Komen Montana Affiliate works with health care professionals, state agencies and community leaders to conduct a comprehensive community needs assessment. This community profile, a standard practice of all Komen Affiliates, is then used to establish a local grant application and review process consistent with the organization’s standards and mission.

In 2010, Komen Montana funded eight community grants totaling $182,448. From 2004 to 2010, community grants provided over 6,000 mammograms and diagnostic services and thousands of people received educational materials. The Montana Affiliate is part of the world’s largest and most progressive grassroots network fighting breast cancer. Through events like the Komen Montana Race for the Cure occurring on May 19, 2012, the Montana Affiliate has invested $1.37 million in community breast cancer programs across Montana. Up to 75 percent of net proceeds generated by the Affiliate stays in Montana and the remaining 25 percent funds national breast cancer research.

For more information, call NMHCF at 406-262-1410.

Please take a moment to view the Presentation; “iKnow – The Mammography Project”.