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Ways To Give

Grand Girlfriends Make a Grand Impact

Grand GirlfriendsTM Dish About the Group

"I love that it was so easy to join."

"It's all about helping other women — that's so cool."

"I really like that I can help decide how my gift can truly make a difference."

Grand Impact

In 2014, Saint Mary's Foundation Grand Girlfriends™ awarded the Comprehensive Breast Center $10,000 to provide mammograms and high risk assessments for the underserved.

According to CDC statistics, for every 100,000 persons in Michigan, an average of 490 are diagnosed with cancer and 197 die from it. Death from breast cancer has declined 20% over the past decade due to screening initiatives. The goal of this program is to provide breast imaging and high risk assessments, which are often the most financially burdensome of diagnostic procedures, to underserved women.

This grant will award fifty-four mammograms and six high risk assessments.    

In 2013, Grand GirlfriendsTM was able to award three grants to help serve women in the community. Maternal and Child Services was granted training of four (4) staff members to complete the course, "Resolve Through Sharing (RTS) Bereavement Training: Perinatal Death. Perinatal bereavement education helps nurses provide relationship-based and family centered care for mothers and families who suffer the loss of their baby. After completion of the course, these "trainers" will share information with other staff members, ensure that any new hire receives RTS training, provide bereavement services to parents during hospitalization, follow-up with parents following hospitalization, and establish support groups for bereaved parents/families.

Grand GirlfriendsTM awarded the Comprehensive Breast Center to film and post on the Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center website a "Breast Surgery Dress Rehearsal" video and DVD. Many breast cancer surgery patients are unable to attend the class in which the Nurse Navigator discusses what women can expect prior to and after their breast surgery. The dress rehearsal includes information on pre-anesthesia, what to wear before and after surgery, sutures, port placement, and discharge instructions. About 25% of women are unable to attend the class because they are unable to get time off work or lack transportation to the class. Those who attend the class "love" it and after surgery they call less frequently with questions or concerns.

Radiation Oncology also received funding to purchase 300 HydroMassage gift cards for distribution to breast cancer patients who have radiation treatments. Up to half of people undergoing acute cancer treatment will experience pain. Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center Research shows that breast cancer patients who have radiation have pain that is poorly controlled. Research shows that integrative therapies, are effective in the treatment of cancer pain. The gift cards would be redeemed at Mercy Health Wege Institute for Mind, Body, Spirit that recently purchased a new HydroMassage bed. This bed provides clients with the sensation of being massaged with jets of warm water, while remaining clothed and dry. If effective, the program can be expanded to additional groups of patients. Expected results and improved quality of life and better pain control scores.

In 2012, Grand GirlfriendsTM awarded a grant to The Comprehensive Breast Center at Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center of $6000 for underinsured patients towards the cost of genetic testing. Genetic counseling is recommended if indicators suggest the possibility of genetic mutation for dramatically increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. If evidenced based factors are present during the counseling, genetic testing is recommended. Many patients do not have insurance coverage for genetic testing and out-of-pocket costs can be hundreds of dollars. The goal of this project is to financially assist patients already experiencing financial distress as a result of their cancer diagnosis.

View More Grand Impact from Past Years >

For more information on becoming a Grand Girlfriend, contact:

Rachel Jonaitis

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