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Thursday May 26th, 2016 1:00AM

Women in Hall, several other counties eligible for breast cancer education grants

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ATLANTA - The Northside Hospital Breast Care Program, part of the hospital s Cancer Institute, has received two grants, totaling more than $38,000, from It's the Journey, Inc. The money is to be used for education and early detection of breast cancer.

More cases of breast cancer are treated at Northside Hospital than at any other community hospital in the Southeast. As a National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Center, the hospital offers a complete range of services for patients including education, genetic counseling, imaging, radiation oncology, surgery, support, rehabilitation and more  covering every aspect of breast care.

It's the Journey, Inc. is a charitable organization that serves Georgia's breast cancer community by raising money and awareness for screening, early detection and support services via its 2-Day Walk and other events throughout the year. In ten years, the 2-Day Walk has generated almost $9 million to fund 188 grants, assisting programs in Georgia that help provide breast cancer screening, awareness, education, diagnosis, treatment and much more. This is the seventh year that Northside has benefitted from the organization, with grants totaling more than $208,000.

"We work all year for this one night  to present grants to the most deserving breast health and breast cancer programs in the state." said Kimberly Goff, executive director of It's The Journey, Inc. "We want to ensure that these organizations can continue to provide services from basic clinical exams to hereditary screening and follow-up treatment for breast cancer. We are proud that our funds remain focused on local needs that make a difference in Georgia communities."

Of the grant money awarded to Northside this year, $34,993.50 will be used to fund screening mammograms and other breast diagnostic procedures for women who cannot afford them. Applicants must meet eligibility requirements and reside in Hall, Dawson, Lumpkin or other outlying counties. Services will be provided at select Northside Hospital imaging centers across North Atlanta.

"Northside Hospital is so grateful and fortunate to, once again, have the generous support of It s the Journey," said Patti Owen, director of oncology services, Northside Hospital. "This money will directly benefit our breast cancer programs, helping us to screen more women for and educate them about breast cancer, in hopes of increasing early detection."

Another $3,750 grant will go to the Northside Hospital/Greater Atlanta Hadassah Check It Out! Program, a no-fee breast health and cancer awareness program that strives to educate young women about breast cancer and the importance of early detection, breast self examination, healthy lifestyle choices and the importance of knowing their own bodies so they can recognize changes.

"Northside and Hadassah have been working together for 19 years, bringing Check It Out into metro Atlanta high schools," said Susan Casella, breast health coordinator, Northside Hospital, and Check It Out educator. "Grant funding allows us to reach more young women and spread the message of the importance of monthly breast-self exams."

For more information about these services or about supporting any of Northside's Cancer Institute programs, visit http://www.northside.com. For more information about receiving a free mammogram through the It's the Journey grant, call 770-667-4400.
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