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YWCA of North Orange County Neighborhood Clinics Offer Diagnostic Services

Orange County is the third most populated county in California with an estimate of 3 million residents and is considered a minority majority county representing 47% Non-Hispanic Whites, 33% Hispanic, 16% Asian/Pacific Islander, 2% African American and 3% other. For over 19 years and with the help of the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program, the YWCA of North Orange County has provided multicultural early breast cancer screening, including mammograms and clinical breast exams, to at-risk women specifically focusing on North Orange County.

According to a 2009 study conducted by Komen and the University of California Irvine, there is an increase in late stage diagnosis among low income Hispanic Women, especially among Mexican descent who were 50% more likely to be diagnosed at late stage. Women living in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods were 30% more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage. The cities noted with the highest rate of late stage diagnosis are in North Orange County.

The YWCA has been working with Whitefield Radiology since January 2009. The company was owned by Jatin Laxpati. They provided mobile mammography to approximately 50% of our neighborhood screenings, and Inner Images provided the other 50%.

In 2013, Whitefield Radiology went through a reorganization changing the name of the company from Whitefield Radiology to Alinea Medical Imaging, while also changing ownership also changed hands from Jatin Laxpati to his son, Monish Laxpati, M.D. Under the new vision of Monish Laxpati, M.D., and his wife Amee Laxpati, COO, Alinea Medical Imaging updated all of their mobile mammography units to digital from analog, implemented new information systems to better track patient information, and installed a new CAD system to improve diagnostic accuracy.

To overcome obstacles to care and to address the increase in late stage diagnosis among women of Mexican descent, the YWCA of North Orange County has collaborated with Alinea Medical Imaging to provide a more comprehensive approach to the early breast cancer detection. With the help of their mobile digital mammography coach and state-of-the-art equipment, Alinea Medical Imaging has been working to offer the YWCA patients diagnostic procedures, including diagnostic mammography, ultrasound, and needle biopsies, directly in their underserved communities. The goal of this collaboration is to improve the timeliness to care, accessibility, and allow for efficient navigation to surgery and follow up care.

In January we received the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program's new tracking requirements: Timeliness of diagnosis and linkage of care, stage of breast cancer and unique client identifiers. We saw the new requirements as an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of our outreach program.

The YWCA of North Orange County and Alinea met to discuss how we could provide diagnostic services for the women who present with symptoms at YWCA of North Orange County's neighborhood screening sites. We also discussed how we can work together to implement the new tracking requirements. The result of our conversations is a pilot program that will help us create a mobile, neighborhood early breast cancer screening/diagnostic template for replication in the field.

The YWCA currently track the number of women receiving mammograms and clinical breast exams. The exam type, women who never had a mammogram vs returning women. Outcomes of mammograms, normal, abnormal, or breast cancer, and provider type (i.e. Every Woman Counts.) Our collaboration with Alinea and our physicians we will be able to accurately track the client's screening mammogram date, when they received their preliminary results when they received their diagnosis, and when they initiated treatment.

The future of the YWCA of North Orange County and Alinea is promising. We will be able to provide breast cancer screening services to medically underserved populations in their own neighborhoods, in their own language, and with cultural sensitivity. We will be able to provide mammograms, digital diagnostics, ultrasound and needle biopsies in the same neighborhood sites, eliminating obstacles to care. The mobile diagnostic outreach will be staffed with an onsite radiologist and improving timeliness to care.

A Grantee's Perspective

Chenango Health Network has received grant funding from the NYS Avon Breast Health Outreach Program for many years. AVON BHOP support has enabled our agency to conduct our Every Woman Counts in Chenango County Campaign, which motivates, encourages and supports hundreds of women who live in this rural upstate county to be screened for breast cancer and receive necessary treatment and support. Read More