The Women in Need (WIN) program, located in the Marion Louise Saltzman Women’s Center has again been selected for the eighth consecutive year to receive a grant from the Philadelphia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Inc. Under the direction of Lisa Jablon, MD, FACS, the WIN program will use the 2010-2011 grant award to continue meeting the needs of uninsured women in our community who have identified breast problems by allowing them to get expedient diagnostic care despite their limited financial resources.
Participants in the WIN program are provided a continuum of breast care, starting with a complete examination, mammography review and additional diagnostic testing such as ultrasound, biopsy or additional mammography. Financial counselors provide on-site education and assistance in helping the women obtain health insurance for themselves and their families. WIN representatives also participate in events in the community and provide education on breast health, offer information on the availability of services through the WIN program as well as other breast health programs in the area, and direct participants to screening services.
Einstein Program Aids Breast Cancer Patients Who Have No Health Insurance
Jeannie Gibson knew something was wrong. She put off going to her doctor to get that lump checked
out because...well, she had no insurance. With five children and 11 grandchildren, money was tight.
But she knew she needed a mammogram...and fast.
"Without health insurance, women are caught in a Catch 22 situation,"says Lisa Jablon, MD, breast
surgeon and Project Director of Einstein's Women in Need (WIN) Program. "Once they have a diagnosis
of breast cancer, there are a number of programs offered through the state that provide them with
access to treatment. But in order to get a diagnosis, they need a biopsy. And without insurance,
getting a biopsy is prohibitively expensive."
WIN helps level the playing field. And it saves lives. "The WIN Program made it possible for me to see
a doctor," says Jeannie. "I had a mammogram and an ultrasound. I got the worst possible news. It
But Jeannie had one thing going for her ... the WIN Program.
Housed in Einstein's Marion-Louise Saltzman Women's Center and funded in large part by the Philadelphia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen For the Cure, Inc., WIN offers access to breast health care for women who have no other resources.
"We are the conduit for women to get the appropriate evaluations and help them access the resources they need for essential treatments," explains Dr. Jablon.
Elaine I. Grobman, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Affiliate Susan G. Komen For the Cure, agrees.
"To really combat this disease, we need to break down the barriers of economics and lack of insurance
that stand in the way of women receiving the education and service that can save their lives," says Ms.
Grobman. "Sadly, this is a huge population. But happily, through the WIN Program, Einstein is opening
the doors for a large number of women in need."
Through WIN, women who have a breast lump, pain, or have had an abnormality detected on a mammogram are seen and evaluated by a breast surgeon. If it is suspicious, they get the all-important biopsy. If the biopsy indicates the lump is cancerous, WIN staff will walk them through the next steps.
"The people at Einstein were really kind and straightforward. They explained everything to me. And they helped me get health insurance so I could get good care," explains Jeannie. "Really, without them, who knows where I'd be now."
Providing emotional support is an important part of WIN's services. "When a woman gets the diagnosis of cancer, she's scared," says Dr. Jablon. "WIN staff helps get her into the system so she can be treated. They provide her with healthcare services. They help her fill out various forms for low-cost medical insurance programs available through the bureaucracy so she can get the treatment she needs without delay."
In addition to the services provided on-site at Einstein, WIN staff also works closely with numerous social service, faith-based and healthcare organizations throughout the city to educate women about breast health and familiarize them with WIN services and resources.
"We provide breast evaluation services to approximately 300 women a year, and we offer breast education information and materials to another 2,000 women annually," says Dr. Jablon.
The WIN Program, which has been helping women since 1999, has made a huge impact on women's health throughout the region.
"There are many reputable and important breast health outreach programs emerging in the community," says Ms. Grobman. "However, there truly is something special about the Marion-Louise Saltzman Women's Center. They instinctively know how to calm the fears, how to draw women out of the shell that may have prevented them from seeking service sooner, and how to reassure them that they can get help despite economic challenges."
As for Jeannie, she sees great things ahead.
"The lumpectomy went great. I'm starting chemo and my prognosis is really good," she says. "I really believe I am alive because of all the help and support I got through WIN."