Saint Mary’s Hospital is pleased to announce for the fourth year, they are recipients of a Pink Aid grant providing support to underserved patients of breast care services. Through a program facilitated by the Saint Mary’s Hospital Foundation, the Pink Aid grant will provide assistance for patients who have financial need and who lack reliable transportation for routine screening, diagnostic, and treatment-related appointments. The 2022 Pink Aid award is expected to provide 165 round-trip rides for patients to-and-from breast health related appointments.
Pink Aid, founded in 2011, offers grants to local programs that promote early detection of breast cancer and provide services to breast cancer patients in need throughout their breast cancer journey. The $5,000, 2022 Pink Aid grant will help provide transportation to underserved patients of Saint Mary’s breast care services. Eligible patients are identified by the hospital’s breast care team based on financial need guidelines approved by Pink Aid.
Saint Mary’s Hospital serves patients in the Greater Waterbury area. Nearly a quarter of Waterbury’s residents live below the federal poverty level, and almost half of households have incomes less than 200% of the poverty threshold. The most recent Community Health Needs Assessment for the region identified transportation as one of the primary barriers to health care. A quarter of Waterbury residents report not having reliable transit, and 11% missed a medical appointment for this reason. In addition to connecting patients to care, door-to-door transportation can alleviate anxiety associated with treatment. If public transportation is available, patients must walk to and from bus stops, even in poor weather conditions, sometimes not feeling well following a treatment. Additionally, working around bus schedules often requires arriving early for appointments, resulting in more time spent in the office. Individual transportation can play an important role in providing care, comfort, and relief for patients as they navigate the physical and psychological effects associated with breast cancer.
“We are deeply grateful to Pink Aid for its continued support,” said Amanda Nardiello, Chief Development Officer, Saint Mary’s Hospital Foundation. “This partnership allows Saint Mary’s Hospital to engage more underserved women in breast care and to reduce disproportionately high rates of late-stage breast cancer diagnosis and mortality in the community.”
If transportation is a barrier for a Saint Mary’s Hospital breast care patient receiving regular breast cancer screening and/or needed diagnostic testing or treatments, the patient can inform her provider’s office and inquire about Pink Aid assistance.