Healthy Connections

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Breast Health & Education

Infant Mortality Education

Healthy Connections is devoted to women’s health through the following programs:

YWCA-Breast Cancer Awareness and Early Detection Program

This program targets women over the age of 40 who are under-insured and under-served.  We provide them with education and free screening services for breast cancer.

Since its inception, the YWCA-Breast Cancer Awareness and Early Detection Program has provided education to over 50,000 women, and 12,500 women have received clinical screening service. Lack of mammography screenings may result in last stage diagnosis or death. This program provides education, awareness, linkage to services; case management to those women with abnormal mammograms and those diagnosed with breast cancer to un-insured/under-insured women to help in early detection of these cancers.

The YWCABreast Cancer Awareness and Early Detection Program offers:

  • Outreach, breast health education, screening, and support for medically under-served and/or un-insured women
  • Links women to no-cost mammograms
  • Transportation to breast health related appointments, language translation, advocacy and referral to community resources
  • Reminders for annual screenings.
  • Incentive gifts to women who complete mammogram screenings
  • Provides one-to-one support to those with suspicious screening results, and for women diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Links uninsured women aged 40-64 to various resources for annual Mammogram and Clinical Breast Exam screening
  • Un-insured/under-insured resources include: Mercy Hospital, CareNet’s network of providers, ProMedica’s indigent programs, and free breast and cervical screening projects offered by area hospitals.
  • YWCA-Touch My Hand Breast Cancer Support Group meets bi-weekly providing support and resources to women who have a cancer diagnosis or those in remission needing supportive services.
  • Annual Night of Elegance event: an evening to celebrate “Triumphs over Trials”. Our women endure so many trials; this night is CELEBRATORY!  An evening of dinner and dancing.
  • Annual Birthday Party celebrating a woman’s second chance at life through early detection, treatment and remission. Each woman celebrates the date of her surgery or start of treatment as a second birthday. This event was implemented when one of our clients shared her celebration of her “new birthday” based on her date of surgery. Because of her motivation and excitement, an annual birthday celebration was implemented to celebrate all of our “surviving thrivers”.

We educate both Medicaid and Medicare recipients about coverage of Annual Screening Mammography and assist them in obtaining the service from providers that accept those benefits. Healthy Connections Breast Cancer Awareness Program provides free breast-health presentations illustrating American Cancer Society guidelines for Mammography, Clinical Breast Exams, and Self-Awareness (knowing what’s normal for them).

YWCA- Community Health Worker Infant Mortality Awareness

The YWCA Healthy Connections Community Health Worker provides care coordination to women in the community to decrease the incidence of low birth weight. Infant mortality is defined as the death of a live-born baby before his or her first birthday.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, there were 41 infant deaths in Lucas County in 2016; furthermore, the 2017 scorecard reports Lucas County as having 6.7 infant mortality rates for whites and 17.5 for blacks.

  • Medicaid Eligible Low Income, High Risk Pregnant Women. The Northwest Ohio Pathways HUB works to decrease the incidence of low birth weight (LBW) and premature births among high risk pregnant women in Northwest Ohio by utilizing the Pathways Model for Care Coordination.
  • Community Health Workers (CHWs) assist clients in removing barriers to care and increasing positive birth outcomes.
  • All health and social service agencies serving the pregnant, Medicaid population are eligible to apply.
  • Attend community events to share the importance of decreasing low birth weight babies.

For more information about the programs from Healthy Connections, contact Winda Birt at 419-241-3235 ext. 225 or via email at