Health department adds WISEWOMAN program

Published 3:21 pm Monday, April 27, 2009

Women ages 40-64 who qualify for breast and cervical cancer screening through the NC BCCCP (Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program) program at the Polk County health department now qualify for cholesterol and diabetes screening. &bsp;

The WISEWOMAN program is designed to improve the health of low-income, uninsured women.&bsp; Women in this program will be screened for high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and diabetes. Counseling and education will be provided related to improving cardiovascular health.&bsp; Participating in this program and making lifestyle changes can help women prevent, delay or control cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.

The goal of this program is to help women improve their health and reduce their chances of heart disease for a long active life.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Women in North Carolina are particularly vulnerable to heart disease since NC is in the &dquo;stroke belt,&dquo; where deaths from heart disease and stroke exceed the national average. Coronary Heart Disease is America&squo;s number one killer. Stroke is number three and a leading cause of serious disability.

In order for a woman to be in the WISEWOMAN program, she must enroll in the BCCCP program. The BCCCP program is for women ages 40-64 who are low income and uninsured.&bsp; Women will receive a pap smear, breast exam and a referral for a mammogram, which the program pays for.&bsp; If there are abnormalities in these exams the program will also pay for additional testing to determine if the woman has cancer. If she is diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer during these screenings there is a special BCCCP Medicaid she can apply for to pay for surgery and treatment.

At the time of a BCCCP appointment at the health department women are offered to be enrolled in the WISEWOMAN program and if enrolled she will be screened for high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and diabetes. She will also receive education related to healthy lifestyle interventions.

To see if you qualify or make an appointment for the BCCCP and WISEWOMAN program please call the health department.