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HomeNewsArchivesFEDERAL CANCER-SCREENING PROGRAM TO END IN V.I.

FEDERAL CANCER-SCREENING PROGRAM TO END IN V.I.

Dec. 30, 2002 – Jan. 31 is the last day Virgin Islands women can take advantage of free breast and cervical cancer screenings under a federally funded health care program.
For reasons that were not explained, Health Commissioner Mavis Matthew said in a release on Monday that the program, called "Every Woman at Heart," would "undergo reorganization." Matthew could not be reached for comment, but a Government House source said the future of the cancer screening program was discussed at a meeting on Monday.
"Every Woman at Heart" is part of a national program made possible by an act of Congress. It allows local governments to use a portion of their Medicaid funds to help eligible women get access to potentially life-saving tests. In order to take part, U.S. states and territories had to enter into an agreement with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and have a formal plan for utilizing the federal funds to carry out the screenings.
The Virgin Islands allocation was around half a million dollars, according to a knowledgeable source. Problems delayed the program's start locally for several weeks, this person said, and in February or March, organizers got help from Delegate Donna M. Christensen with organizing a publicity campaign inviting the public to take advantage of the free screening offer.
What has happened in the nine months since then is unclear. Some people with first-hand or second-hand knowledge of the program were not willing to comment for the record on Monday. However, one well-placed official said it appeared that at some point the Virgin Islands lost its eligibility to participate.
Matthews said in the release that those persons who already are signed up for the free breast and cervical cancer tests should contact their local service provider to schedule appointments in the coming month. "The department will continue to offer free service up to Friday, Jan. 31," she said.

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Dec. 30, 2002 – Jan. 31 is the last day Virgin Islands women can take advantage of free breast and cervical cancer screenings under a federally funded health care program.
For reasons that were not explained, Health Commissioner Mavis Matthew said in a release on Monday that the program, called "Every Woman at Heart," would "undergo reorganization." Matthew could not be reached for comment, but a Government House source said the future of the cancer screening program was discussed at a meeting on Monday.
"Every Woman at Heart" is part of a national program made possible by an act of Congress. It allows local governments to use a portion of their Medicaid funds to help eligible women get access to potentially life-saving tests. In order to take part, U.S. states and territories had to enter into an agreement with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and have a formal plan for utilizing the federal funds to carry out the screenings.
The Virgin Islands allocation was around half a million dollars, according to a knowledgeable source. Problems delayed the program's start locally for several weeks, this person said, and in February or March, organizers got help from Delegate Donna M. Christensen with organizing a publicity campaign inviting the public to take advantage of the free screening offer.
What has happened in the nine months since then is unclear. Some people with first-hand or second-hand knowledge of the program were not willing to comment for the record on Monday. However, one well-placed official said it appeared that at some point the Virgin Islands lost its eligibility to participate.
Matthews said in the release that those persons who already are signed up for the free breast and cervical cancer tests should contact their local service provider to schedule appointments in the coming month. "The department will continue to offer free service up to Friday, Jan. 31," she said.

Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice ... click here.