MercyOne offering free mammograms for women facing cost barriers

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OELWEIN, Iowa (KCRG) Women who can’t afford to get their yearly mammogram will soon be able to get one for free.

MercyOne's "Free Mammo Nights" kicked off Thursday at the Oelwein Medical Center.

Women were able to get a free mammogram, along with a doctor's visit, and education on self-breast exams. Radiologists at the Center say cost is the biggest barrier that comes in between women and scheduling an appointment, but it’s important to remove that barrier because early detection can save a life.

"The reason early detection is so important and can really change the woman's journey is if we catch it early, the path the woman will have to take as far as surgical intervention or anything else gets a little more complicated at a more advanced stage," said Allison Ingels, the Radiology Supervisor.

As a breast cancer survivor, Terri Derflinger says she has learned how important it is to get these services.

"I really believe in mammograms and care for women with breast cancer. I am a survivor for 8 years, and am very diligent to keep on top of my own health but also to encourage women to get mammograms and the services they deserve," said Derflinger.

Derflinger is also the Site Administrator at MercyOne Oelwein and says their missions are to help and reach out to the poor and they felt this is a good opportunity to provide services to the women of our community.

The event is for women 40 and older who have cost barriers to receiving their yearly mammograms. The next two will take place on October 24th at the Waterloo Medical Center from 3:30 to 8 p.m., and November 7th at Cedar Falls Medical Center from 1 to 7 p.m.

People can make an appointment by calling (319) 292-2225.

This event was financially supported by the MercyOne Waterloo Foundation, Black Hawk County Health Department's Care for Yourself Program and the Check the Girls Foundation.