With the coming of spring new life blooming all around, Morehouse Community Medical Centers, Inc (MCMC ) will now be providing a service that they hope will save lives. They'll now offer low cost cervical cancer screenings for the women in and around Morehouse Parish.

Community Liaison Coordinator Christy Little said the screenings will be provided during a special designated Women’s Health Clinic. For a $50 fee, women will receive a pap smear and a breast exam.

“They will be held the third Wednesday of every month from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,” Little said. “You can go anytime and take advantage of this low cost, but on these designated Wednesdays we will be set up to offer you more information, as well as baby sitting services while you're being seen.”

These low cost screenings are made possible through a grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, which they awarded to MCMC.

MCMC announced in a press release recently that 810 Community Health Centers nationwide were awarded the grants, which they too will use to improve the cervical cancer screening rates within their communities. The purpose of these grants is to ensure more women are screened for cervical cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer and more than 4,000 deaths will occur annually across the United States as a result of this preventable disease.

“We recognize women’s concerns and fears and want to offer them the resources for preventative care,”

said MCMC Family Nurse Practitioner, Teresa Wood. “As a continued effort to improve healthcare outcomes in our community, we are especially eager to deliver women’s healthcare in a unique and compassionate service experience.”

Little said patients who receive their health care in a patient-centered practice have been shown to receive a higher rate of preventive services, including cervical cancer screening.

“We're hoping that more women will come in and take advantage of this,” she said. “We'll screen patients on that Wednesday and the results will be in a few days after. If the results are normal, we'll call the patient and tell them over the phone. It's really simple and affordable. We''ll be set up with someone on staff to answer any questions you may have. Our goal as a healthcare organization is to make sure every woman is provided with the education, tools and support needed to help prevent the spread of this disease.”

The Women's Health Clinic will be held Morehouse Community Medical Centers’ Mer Rouge office, located at 108 N. 16th Street. The cost for the office visit is $50. The laboratory and pathology fees, which are typically billed by an outside lab, are provided at no cost to the patient. Reduced fees are available for low income patients and will range from $25-$50, depending on the patient's income. In addition to child sitting services, transportation is also provided if needed. For more information, call 239.8010 or 239.8011.