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  • Oct 24, 2023

CHA Hosts See, Test & Treat to Provide Free Women's Cancer Screenings

132 CHA Volunteers Offer Health Services to 50 Women and Gender-Diverse People

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — On Friday, October 20, Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), a community health system serving Cambridge, Somerville and Boston's metro-north communities, hosted See, Test & Treat, a program that provides free health screenings for uninsured and underinsured women and gender-diverse people from hard to reach populations, including people who are housing insecure or homeless and those who have delayed/postponed critical screenings. CHA was selected for the sixth year by the College of American Pathologists Foundation (CAP) to offer this day of free health services for women and gender-diverse people.

Fifty patients were treated by 132 CHA volunteers who provided free pelvic and clinical breast exams, a Pap test and an HPV test with same-day results, as well as a screening mammogram with same-day or prompt results. The focus of this year’s event was on the unhoused community. CHA staff made an extraordinary effort to connect with women, transgender and non-binary people, most of whom aren't able to access care. In addition to women's health screenings, participants received free flu shots and COVID vaccines, as well as oral health and skin screenings. Participants received counseling and assistance with insurance registration to allow them to obtain future health services on a regular basis. CHA hosted a health fair as part of the event, and free transportation or free parking. Takeda and Building Impact donated and assembled gift bags to be given to each participant.

For people without insurance or adequate coverage, getting regular breast and pelvic exams is often impossible. See, Test & Treat helps women and gender-diverse people who are not covered get these important tests done all in one day, sometimes detecting early cancers and saving lives. "These tests sometimes identify cancers, allowing us to get people connected to the care they need," said Rebecca Osgood, MD, CHA's chief of pathology. "No one in this era of advanced medical diagnostics deserves to die of a preventable cancer."

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