St. John’s Episcopal Hospital opens free breast cancer screening program

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital_Exterior
St. John’s Episcopal Hospital may face significant cuts to services based on state-backed cost-reduction analysis. (Photo courtesy of SJEH)

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital announced the creation of its new Cancer Services Program earlier this week.

The program, which recently began screening eligible, uninsured and underinsured patients for cervical and breast cancer at no cost, aims to eliminate price barriers that may prevent patients from seeking cancer screenings.

“We are making it as easy as possible for people to be screened for cancer, whether they have insurance or not,” said Lorna Manning the assistant vice president of integrated case management and population health at the hospital. “We are all aware of the importance of detecting and diagnosing cancers early, which is why we are providing this service to the public.”

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is located in on the Rockaway peninsula, which has a higher rate of cancer for 14 cancer types when compared to the overall cancer rate in New York City.

Even within Queens, the peninsula has a higher rate of 17 cancer types when compared to the rest of the borough.

The new program offers breast and cervical cancer screenings to women over the age of 40 and screenings to women under the age of 40 who are at high risk for breast cancer.

To be eligible for the screenings, patients must live in New York state, meet program rules for age and income and have no insurance or insurance with a cost share that makes the cost of screening too high.

In addition to the breast and cervical cancer screenings, the hospital plans to add a colon cancer screening program in the future.