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Abnormal Pap screens most often indicate HPV infection, which can cause cervical cancer. With a cervical cancer incidence rate in Chelsea more than twice that of the state, the Cervical Health Program was established in 2004 to reach out to MGH Chelsea patients who have had an abnormal Pap smear to promote timely follow-up and ensure comprehensive care.
In addition to educating patients and providing emotional support, services include assistance with scheduling, transportation and health insurance.
The Cervical Health Program targets women and adolescent girls from MGH Chelsea, Chelsea High School, and Roca (a community youth organization) who have had an abnormal pap smear and, as a result, require a colposcopy and/or other treatments. Timely diagnostic and treatment services ultimately help to reduce cervical cancer.
The Cervical Health Program provides a number of services to patients, including:
• Addressing individual barriers to care (limited English language skills, inadequate health insurance coverage, and transportation, child care and work-related issues), and emotional barriers such as fear or lack of understanding • Helping patients with scheduling and making reminder phone calls • Conducting home visits for select patients • Educating patients on cervical health, including the HPV vaccine and the importance of regular pap smears, and empowering them to become advocates for their own cervical health • Participating in outreach events and organizing educational activities to promote cervical cancer awareness
Since the program’s inception in 2004, the program has served more than 1,300 patients.
In FY 2013,
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