LHI expands screening capacity for spring health fair
by Nancy Ford
If there is indeed a war on women, particularly in the arena of healthcare, LHI is geared for battle.
As legislators threaten funding that supports the service that provides women—especially poor and underrepresented women—with basic healthcare needs and preventative services, there’s been an uptick of local women who seek LHI services at the group’s biannual health fairs.
“One in three Harris County residents are without insurance, and, of those, thousands are LGBT. Thanks to LHI’s generous funders, health and wellness partners, and our volunteers, we’re thrilled to be offering more no-cost lifesaving services for more uninsured or under-insured LGBT women and trans men in 2012,” says Liz James, the group’s chief executive officer.
The group has already seen a surge in pre-registration for the fair’s various health screenings. “Registration began April 21,” James says. “We’re expanding to serve more uninsured or under-insured LGBT-identified women and trans men. This is the first time in history that we will have three mobile mammogram units, and for the first time, all are digital,” James says.
James expects LHI’s spring health fair to provide as many as 66 mammograms, a considerable increase from the 39 mammograms that were provided by the group’s November 2011 health fair. Pap smears and well-woman examinations are up too, with 51 women scheduled for examination in June, up from 44 last November.
The biggest climb occurred in the category of heart and vascular risk assessment screening. In November, 32 women were tested for heart disease, the most prevalent killer of adult women.
“We’ll again have body and skin scans. Other available screenings include Pap tests, well-woman exams, extensive blood screenings, heart and vascular risk assessments, field vision testing, and much, much more.”
Local health experts including OB/GYN Mary Alice Cowan, M.D., attorney Kristen Capps, Marie Boydstun with the American Cancer Society, and other presenters are onsite at the fair to provide free information pertinent to a more healthful lifestyle.
“We’ll also have a benefits enrollment and information section,” James adds.
The fair welcomes walk-ins, but mammograms, Pap smears, and well-woman exams are available to LGBT-identified women by appointment only. To schedule screenings, e-mail [email protected] or call 713/426-3356. Leave your name, phone number, and e-mail address,” James says.
“Remember: available slots go fast,” James adds. “Everyone can help change and save lives. Corny as it may sound, all they need to do is tell someone they know about LHI’s June 2 health fair.”