MSUToday
Published: April 22, 2016

Making a "Pink" impact through breast cancer care

Contact(s): Jill Vondrasek Division of Public Health office: 810-600-9185 jill.vondrasek@hc.msu.edu

The Michigan State University College of Nursing has received $75,000 from the local Susan G. Komen Foundation, Michigan affiliate, to provide essential screening and diagnostic breast care services to both women and men in need.

Continuing MSU’s tradition of partnering with the foundation to provide access to care, Pink Impact: Breast Care at MSU will offer these services to those who can't afford them due to high deductibles and copays. In addition, a breast health education program will be held for breast cancer survivors, their families and those at risk.

In partnership with the College of Human Medicine's Department of Radiology, imaging services will be provided for patients with an income of up to 350 percent above the poverty level.

Nurse practitioner Mary Smania, in the College of Nursing, is passionate about increasing access to breast cancer screening and diagnostics. Smania specializes in breast health and has been a leading provider of breast care services in the Greater Lansing Community for 11 years. She is a certified Advanced Genetics Nurse, specializing in assessing an individual’s risk of a genetic mutation along with coordination of testing for these mutations.

Smania will provide patients with a comprehensive clinical breast exam and conduct a health history assessment. She has provided breast services to underserved individuals through five different Susan G. Komen grants.

“Thanks to Komen, we have cared for 129 new patients, provided 279 diagnostic tests, and given 123 follow-up appointments to patients who would otherwise not have access to care,”  Smania said. “The burden of a breast cancer diagnoses is not only frightening – it is also a significant financial burden on families. No one should have to choose between caring for their family or caring for themselves when diagnosed with breast cancer.”

Pink Impact: Breast Care Services will serve individuals in mid-Michigan, specifically in the counties of Jackson, Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Shiawassee, Livingston and Washtenaw. 

“The programs funded by Komen Michigan fill the gaps where other health programs fall short,” said Jennifer Jurgens, executive director of Susan G. Komen Michigan and breast cancer survivor. “We are fortunate to have such great partnerships with local breast health organizations so that every man and woman has the access to care they deserve.”

For more information, call (517) 267-2460 or email pink.impact@hc.msu.edu.