DOH-Okaloosa accepts $25,000 grant for breast cancer battle

Special to The Log
Dr. Karen Chapman, director, DOH-Okaloosa, addresses attendees of the White-Wilson Community Foundation reception, held Aug. 25.

Okaloosa County’s arsenal to thwart breast cancer got bigger by $25,000 recently, thanks to a grant from the White-Wilson Community Foundation of Fort Walton Beach to the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County. 

Dr. Karen Chapman, DOH-Okaloosa director, accepted the grant of $25,000 toward the Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program for Okaloosa women from the White-Wilson Community Foundation Board at a reception held Aug. 25 at Clemenza’s in Uptown Station in Fort Walton Beach.

The focus of the donation, the Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, makes it easier for women to get the breast and cervical cancer screenings doctors recommend. Through the public/private partnership with WWCF, DOH-Okaloosa will leverage federal funds and local dollars to ensure that more women aged 50 to 64, with little or no insurance, can get access to breast cancer screenings and diagnostic and treatment services, if needed.

The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program as administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funds the FBCCEDP.

“Now with the generosity of the White-Wilson Community Foundation we have been offered a rare opportunity to increase access to an important preventive health screening test, mammography,” said Dr. Chapman.

Going through the FBCCED program also assures women that if the mammogram is abnormal, further diagnostic testing is available to determine if it is cancer. If it is cancer, women are referred to Florida Medicaid for eligibility and cancer treatment. Expansion of the FBCCED program at the DOH-Okaloosa will start by Oct. 1, 2014.

“The White-Wilson Community Foundation is proud to support the work of the Okaloosa County Health Department through this $25,000 grant,” said Alan Gieseman, WWCF board member. “By working together, we hope to help women in our community detect and treat cancer early.”

WWCF is a staunch advocate for women’s health. Its Little Black Dress Party was formed in 2010 to raise awareness regarding the importance of preventive healthcare, specifically for women. This year, the gala raised nearly $50,000 to support that goal.