The Kent State Women’s Center and the Women’s Diagnostic Center have partnered once again to bring mammogram screenings to campus in light of Breast Cancer Awareness month.
“We started this a number of years ago,” said Cassandra Pegg-Kirby, the director of the Women’s Center. “There used to be a van that came and did mobile mammography at the Women’s Center. At that point we were doing three days each semester. But a couple of years ago we adjusted to using the Women’s Diagnostic Center, and we moved the screenings over to University Health Services.”
The Women’s Diagnostic Center, which is located in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, has been providing mammography services since 1986, and began working with the Kent State’s Women Center just a few years ago.
“The type of mammograms they are able to give are digital mammography,” Pegg-Kirby said. “Which is higher quality, and they can see it immediately. Professionals running the procedure can make sure if they need another film and take care of that at the time.”
The Women’s Diagnostic Center will be using upgraded digital technology. Alicia Robinson, who is the assistant director of the Women’s Center said the machines are updated when needed.
“The machine was manufactured in 2011 and is updated, or repaired as needed,” Robinson said.
This year, the Women’s Center was able to partner with the DeWeese Health Center and Human Resources to provide a health fair including mammograms, hearing tests and flu shots.
“We’re thrilled to be able to bring the mammograms here to the fair,” said Kim Hauge, the HR communications and project manager. “The more things we can do for employees, the better. We know they’re stretched with time, so that’s why we do a whole host of services in the workplace.”
86 screenings were scheduled from Oct. 8 through Oct. 11, filling up all available times offered by the Women’s Center. Each screening takes about 12-15 minutes, making it quick, efficient and convenient for employees.
“Sometimes people don’t have time to travel off-campus,” Pegg-Kirby said. “But this way, people are able to take their lunch breaks or ask a supervisor to step out real quick. We wanted to make it so that there are fewer hoops to jump through to take care of ourselves.”
Sierra Clark, a graduate assistant at the Women’s Center, works on researching triple negative breast cancer, and believes that the mammograms being offered are beneficial to all who partake.
“It’s a secondary prevention method,” Clark said. “We know that if you can catch breast cancer early, it’s very important and way easier to treat and there can be much better survival rates.”
October is celebrated in America annually to highlight the importance of breast cancer awareness, research and education. The Women’s Center is working to further that education and research through yearly mammograms given in April and October.
“Hopefully in the spring we’ll be able to get five days,” Pegg-Kirby said. “We just want to keep going. As long as people tell us they need them and want them, we’re going to keep doing whatever we can to have the mammograms available.”
Lexi Marco is the health reporter. Contact her at [email protected]