Now, uninsured or underinsured women with breast or cervical cancer can get treatment in Palm Beach County
May 24, 2022 — In a first-of-its-kind partnership in Palm Beach County, Good Samaritan Medical Center, part of the Palm Beach Health Network, is pledging to sponsor the treatment and care for local women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer after screenings made possible by the Promise Fund of Florida.
The Palm Beach Health Network is dedicated to caring for the community and providing high-quality healthcare to residents throughout Palm Beach County. Good Samaritan Medical Center offers expansive women’s healthcare services, including state-of-the-art technology to help save women’s lives from breast cancer at the Norma E. & Miles M. Zisson Comprehensive Breast Center of the Palm Beaches. The Palm Beach Health Network recently invested nearly a quarter of a million dollars into the center, giving it a new look and creating a more modern, comfortable atmosphere for patients being treated for breast health.
“We are so grateful to Good Samaritan Medical Center for stepping up to provide care for women who desperately need it, and we look forward to developing similar partnerships with other care providers,” said Nancy Brinker, founder of the Promise Fund of Florida. “Underserved women in our community deserve access to care here in Palm Beach County. One patient recently had to make 25 road trips to Tampa and back for radiation treatments with one of our care navigators, because that was the location of the only hospital in our region that would fund her care. Good Samaritan’s generous partnership is bringing this life-saving care closer to home.”
Currently, uninsured women who earn more than $13,590 and less than $27,180 per year are not eligible for specialty benefits through the Health Care District of Palm Beach County.
“We are honored to be working with the Promise Fund to expand our quality care to the underserved women in our community,” said Sheri Montgomery, CEO of Good Samaritan Medical Center. “Early detection is key for cancer diagnosis and with our renowned doctors and leading technology, we are able to help provide a treatment and care solution. We will continue our commitment to serving all Palm Beach residents as we have done for over 100 years.”
When cancer is more advanced, it is more expensive to treat. For a patient with Stage 1 breast cancer, the average treatment costs $43,530; for a patient at Stage 4, that amount jumps to $223,568. The need for chemotherapy also impacts the expense of care. For breast cancer patients not receiving chemotherapy, the overall healthcare cost within two years of diagnosis averages $80,870; for those who receive chemotherapy, that figure rises to $200,045.
“This financial data underscores the urgency of access to early, regular and affordable cancer screenings,” said Lisa Hartstein, Director of Programs, Promise Fund of Florida. “But the survival rate is the metric that really matters. For a patient diagnosed at Stage 1, the 5-year survival rate is 99 percent. When the diagnosis shows cancer at Stage 4, the survival rate is 22 percent. By screening women regularly, we save money, but much more importantly we save lives.”
When given access, Palm Beach County women will take advantage of opportunities for much-needed preventive screenings. In 2020, Promise Fund helped to establish a women’s health center at FoundCare that includes 3D mammography and ultrasound equipment graciously donated by Hologic, Inc. Before that, in 2019, FoundCare referred 500 women for a mammogram and only 1 in 5 followed through. But in 2021, the center’s first full year of operation, 1,190 women received mammograms — 57 percent of the women of the 2,071 women who were eligible.
To learn more about Promise Fund, visit promisefundofflorida.org.
About The Palm Beach Health Network
The Palm Beach Health Network (PBHN) is the largest healthcare network in Palm Beach County, consisting of Delray Medical Center, Good Samaritan Medical Center, Palm Beach Children’s Hospital, Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, St. Mary’s Medical Center and West Boca Medical Center, along with a large multi-specialty physician group, various ambulatory surgery centers and outpatient diagnostic facilities.
PBHN is recognized for providing the highest quality healthcare, combining cutting-edge health services with patient-centric care. With the greatest longevity in the community, along with hospitals and care centers that span the entirety of Palm Beach County, more patients trust PBHN than any other in the region.
All of the PBHN hospitals have received prestigious awards and accolades, national rankings, and multiple accreditations. PBHN is dedicated to providing the highest standards of excellence in patient care that are hallmarks of the Tenet brand. To learn more, visit palmbeachhealthnetwork.com.
About Promise Fund of Florida
Promise Fund of Florida, founded in 2018, helps women throughout South Florida overcome financial and cultural barriers to improve health equity – including a reduction in deaths from cervical and breast cancers. The nonprofit organization promotes preventive care by focusing on patient-navigation resources, community awareness, policy changes and innovative partnerships. Together, Promise Fund of Florida and its community partners have supported more than 16,000 women in navigating the complexities of the healthcare system to improve access to early detection screenings, education, diagnostics and treatment.