September / October 2106
By Dorothy Gibbons
This year, The Rose celebrates thirty years of providing breast health services to our community.
The organization, which started in 1986 with $7,000 and a staff of two volunteers and one employee, has grown to become this community’s major healthcare resource, serving women from all walks of life, insured and uninsured, young and old.
Over 40,000 women turn to The Rose each year for breast health services including screening mammograms; diagnostic mammography and ultrasound work-ups; stereotactic and ultrasound guided biopsies; physician consultations; and patient navigation into treatment for those who are diagnosed.
The Rose’s Mobile Mammography Units serve over 250 businesses, many local school districts, area churches and community clinics. Over 65% of the women (both insured and uninsured) served through the mobile program reported that they would not have had their annual mammogram if it not been offered onsite.
Employers have told me that “The convenience of having high quality digital mammograms onsite through the mobile program is a great health benefit for any corporation or business to offer their employees.” Insured women have so many choices when it comes to mammography, but at The Rose, every insured woman helps us provide services to the uninsured.
Our business model has worked for over 30 years, leveraging the revenue from our insured population with funds received from grants and fundraisers means we can provide over 20,000 medical services – from mammograms to biopsies – to the 7,500 uninsured women who turn to us for help each year. Having your mammogram at The Rose impacts both you and another woman.
At The Rose, we are adamant that women should start screening no later than age 40. We diagnose way too many young women and must keep reminding women early detection is the key to survival.
The Rose has been saving lives for 30 years and I believe that our greatest accomplishments are found in the way women are treated with dignity when asking for help, and in the gift of time early diagnosis gives women to be with loved ones. Giving a woman peace of mind so she can concentrate on her recovery and not have to worry about how she’s going to pay for treatment is what The Rose is all about.
Barbee had her annual mammograms from 2004-2012 until her divorce left her without insurance. She decided to “risk it” for several years until she learned, in 2015, that The Rose Mobile Mammography Unit would be in her Alvin community. After her mammogram, she had diagnostic procedures which led to a diagnosis of breast cancer. She was only 50 years old. The Rose helped get her into treatment. Barbee said:
“Everyone was so nice to me and treated me like I was their number one client at the time and took the time to explain so many things to me, especially the doctor. I can’t say enough about how wonderful it has been to have the help The Rose offered me. As an outsider, I didn’t have any knowledge but having a navigator guiding me throughout this whole ordeal was wonderful. The Rose saved my life.”