by Emily Armentrout
January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and two local organizations, 85 Hope and the Hope Foundation, are joining together to promote cervical cancer awareness and serve the women of Wabash County.
85 Hope is a free medical clinic in Wabash County that provides care for the uninsured. Their mission statement explains: “85 Hope is inspired by the Gospel to provide free primary healthcare services to uninsured, low-income residents of Wabash County.”
The Hope Foundation was created to “supplement the cost of certain patient expenses, defray the cost of medical education through the Tumor Board, and pay a portion of the oncology nursing education for OCN certification,” according to the Hope Foundation brochure.
85 Hope opened their doors on Dec. 1, 2011 at Wabash Friends Church. They provide 40-50 office visits per month, along with free medication, lab and x-ray services. The organization, led by Executive Director Laura Helm, is staffed by volunteer doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and allied health staff. It has received grants and donations from the United Fund, Community Foundation, Lutheran Foundation, Ford Meter Box Foundation, Chili for Charity, First United Methodist Church, private donors and numerous other churches and services organizations.
“Friends Church has provided clinic space, and Wabash County Hospital has provided valuable administrative support,” Dr. Rose Wenrich told The Paper.
The Hope Foundation began in 1985 and was founded by the late Dr. Robert LaSalle. The Hope Foundation is “a non-profit foundation with a mission to provide assistance to cancer patients in Wabash County and offer cancer screening events for those underserved and without financial means,” according to Amy Poole, member of the Hope Foundation’s board of directors.
“Dr. LaSalle and the other board members had an initial vision to improve access to cancer care and screenings in Wabash County. Today that vision is alive and working well,” Amy Poole, RN, OCB, and Director of Nursing told The Paper.
The Hope Foundation holds a Cancer Survivors Day and annual cancer screenings, which is why the foundation decided to join with 85 Hope for their upcoming film festival to raise funds for their cervical cancer screenings.
85 Hope and the Hope Foundation will be holding a screening of the film “Escape Fire: The Fight to Save American Healthcare” on Jan. 15 at the Eagles Theatre. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show will start at 7 p.m. The film reviews healthcare in America and the need to find a way to fix a broken system. There will be a panel discussion of topics covered in the movie to follow. The community can ask questions of doctors and nurses who will be on hand. There is no cost for the event. Donations will be accepted at the door and will help fund a free cervical cancer screening program for uninsured women in Wabash County.
The cervical cancer screenings will be held on Jan. 21 from 6-8 p.m. at Family Physicians, located on Manchester Ave. This is a free event to provide Pap smears to women age 21-64, in Wabash County. No pre-registration is required. 85 Hope and the Hope Foundation are holding these screenings for any women in Wabash County who need a Pap smear. You do not need to have a family doctor or insurance. There will be no cost to the patient. The testing will be performed by doctors and nurses who are volunteering their time to serve the women of Wabash County, who otherwise could not have this test done. For more information, contact 85 Hope at 260-330-9877.