Students, teachers and wellness experts gathered recently to help kick-off this school year's "Tell Your Mom, Save a Life - And More" program in Greeneville and Greene County.
Now in its seventh year, the program is funded by the TriCities Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and facilitated locally by the Laughlin Health Care Foundation.
The program's goal is to raise awareness of breast cancer and to encourage women to undergo screening mammograms.
Free screening mammograms are provided locally to women who qualify.
Applications for the free screening mammograms are available at the Greene County Health Department and in the front lobby of Laughlin Memorial Hospital.
Laughlin Hospital received a $27,750 grant this year from the Komen for the Cure to provide free screening mammograms.
Through a collaborative effort of high school students, teachers and health officials, word is spread through the community about breast cancer and how qualifying women can receive a free mammogram.
According to the Komen website, "Breast cancer is often first suspected when a lump or change in the breast is found or when an abnormal area is seen on a mammogram.
"Most of the time, these findings do not turn out to be cancer. However, the only way to know for sure is through follow-up tests," the site says.
The Tennessee Breast and Cervical Cancer Program partners with the "Tell Your Mom" effort to provide any needed follow-up procedures for women.
This year's "Tell Your Mom" kick-off breakfast meeting included junior and senior high school student representatives from the five local high schools, wellness coordinators from both the Greeneville and Greene County school systems, teachers involved with the program, and representatives of the Greene County Health Department.
This year, the Komen for the Cure is using a "Do You TuTu?" theme this year to raise breast cancer awareness and to promote the Komen Race for the Cure, which raises money for Komen-supported research and programs.
In the spirit of the promotion, the participating students donned tutus at the meeting to support the cause.
Betty Weemes, director, Laughlin Health Care Foundation, said that the support of the hospital's radiologists and the Laughlin Center for Women's Health has been "paramount to the success of the program."
Drs. Arthur Adams, Scot Vermilion, Paul D'Angelo, and Kevin Delk provide radiological services as part of the free screening mammograms for qualified women, Weemes said.
Additionally, the staff of Laughlin Center for Women's Health participates in an educational program for breast cancer awareness, she added.
For additional information about the free mammograms, call the Laughlin Health Care Foundation at 787-5117.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure: