Free Womens Cancer Screening Program Announces New Name, Hotline

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DENVER, Oct. 22 // -- In the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Women's Wellness Connection at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is making it easier for Colorado women to live healthy, cancer-free lives.

    Today, Women's Wellness Connection, formerly Colorado Women's Cancer Control Initiative, announces its new name and the launch of a new statewide hotline (1-866-951-WELL), making the free breast and cervical cancer-screening program more accessible to low-income, uninsured and underserved women across the state.

    "We're rejuvenating the Women's Wellness Connection program with a new name and brand identity to increase awareness about our free screenings," said Sandra Mortensen, Women's Wellness Connection program manager. "Our goal is to increase and improve access to quality breast and cervical cancer screening for more eligible Colorado women. The statewide hotline is one way we're making our services more accessible."

    Women's Wellness Connection provides breast and cervical cancer screenings (clinical breast exams, Pap tests, and mammograms to women ages 50-64) and selected diagnostic services to eligible women at more than 120 sites through cooperative efforts of multiple statewide providers.

    These services are provided free of charge to women ages 40-64 who live in Colorado, are legal residents, have no health insurance or are underinsured, meet income requirements (250 percent of federal poverty level or below) and have rarely or never been screened for breast or cervical cancer.

    In Colorado, women can participate in the Women's Wellness Connection free screening program at more than 120 locations. To find out if they are eligible and to make an appointment, women may call 1-866-951-WELL.

    The hotline is made possible through an in-kind donation from the American Cancer Society. Society staff will operate the hotline to answer questions, provide additional information about the program, and help women make appointments with local Women's Wellness Connection screening providers.

    "The American Cancer Society is committed to helping provide cancer screening and early detection resources to all residents of Colorado," said Lynda Solomon, American Cancer Society media relations and marketing manager. "We are especially excited about our partnership with Women's Wellness Connection because it will give us a greater ability to reach the many people in need of these valuable screening and treatment services."

    Through federal funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Colorado has screened an average of 10,500 women each year for the past five years. With additional funding in fiscal year 2005-06, the program was able to serve 3,300 more Colorado women. The program aims to significantly increase screenings each year for the next five years, while still adhering to the federal program requirements.

    More information about the Women's Wellness Connection can be found via the hotline (1-866-951-WELL) or at http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/pp/cwcci/index.html.

    About Women's Wellness Connection

    The Women's Wellness Connection, which began in 1991, is a program administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. It is part of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal of the program, and its staff, is to reduce breast and cervical cancer mortality through the promotion of compliance with routine screening guidelines and timely, state-of-the-art diagnostic evaluation. More information can be found via the hotline (1-866-951-WELL) or at http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/pp/cwcci/index.html.
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