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June 4-- More women will have access to breast cancer screenings in the Vidalia area due to a grant made to Meadows Health.

Ursula Spence with Community Health Works presented a $10,000 check Tuesday, "At the Central Georgia Cancer Coalition we have several initiatives in the community.  One is to provide funding to hospitals in our area to provide breast cancer mammogram screenings and diagnostic breast cancer screenings for patients in our community who need it.  We're trying to bridge the gap and catch early signs of breast cancer rather than progressive signs," she said.

mrmccancergrant(L-R) Meadows Community Health Director Susan McLendon, Meadows VP for Medical Affairs Dr. Karen McColl, Meadows CEO Alan Kent and Ursula Spence, Community Health Works Director of Programs for Rural Health Works.

Funding of the cancer screenings for indigent patients is made possible by an increase in state funding to Community Health Works, "The funding comes from the master tobacco settlement through the Georgia Genera Assembly.  They increased our budget by 50% and with that we are able to bring these programs and funds to southeast and coastal Georgia where we haven't been in the past.  We're excited to bring this to the Vidalia area," Spence said.

The Chief Executive Officer at Meadows, Alan Kent, reports the funds will help the hospital improve health in the community, "This becomes an opportunity to push better healthcare out to our community by doing early cancer screening and prevention.  Partnering with Community Health Works and the Central Georgia Cancer Coalition helps us to put boots on the ground to make sure these services are available to people in our community.  We see this as part of the bigger picture of improving our community's health, not just providing health care."