More than $1 million raised in private donations for van that will screen for 7 cancer types
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear today unveiled a new Horses and Hope mobile unit that will provide free or significantly reduced cost cancer screenings to underserved populations across Kentucky.
Today’s announcements, held at separate events in Lexington and Louisville, are part of an ongoing partnership between the Governor, First Lady and Kentucky’s health care community to reduce state cancer rates, which are the highest in the nation.
“Throughout this administration Jane has leveraged her position as First Lady to aggressively and energetically move the Commonwealth forward in a dozen significant areas,” Gov. Beshear said. “Nowhere has Jane been a more fantastic advocate and tireless worker than her efforts to educate and save the lives of Kentuckians from cancer. This mobile van embodies Jane’s generosity and compassion. I’m proud of her and our partners making this van a reality for the health of our citizens.”
“For the last 7 years, Horses and Hope has been a leader in educating Kentuckians about breast cancer awareness and providing free screenings to horse industry employees and their families,” said Mrs. Beshear. “With this new unit, we now have the ability to travel throughout the state offering even more cancer screening opportunities to individuals who would otherwise not get tested. Thank you to the many partners and sponsors that have donated to this important cause –your contributions will help save lives in Kentucky.”
In 2008, Mrs. Beshear partnered with the Kentucky Cancer Program to create Horses and Hope, an initiative to increase breast cancer awareness, education, screening and treatment referral among Kentucky’s horse industry workers and their families.
Horses and Hope partnered with the Kentucky Cancer Program, the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center and KentuckyOne Health to raise more than $1 million in private donations to pay for the new unit, which will screen for seven different cancer types.
Kentucky has the highest incidence and death rates in the nation for several cancers, with an overall cancer incidence rate that is 14 percent greater than the national average. The new van will focus on educating Kentuckians about cancer prevention, and offer screenings for seven cancer types, including breast, cervical, colon, lung, prostate, skin and head/neck.
The custom-built cancer screening unit is 40 feet in length, with an exterior design featuring a Horses and Hope theme and acknowledgment of project partners and sponsors. The full list of sponsors can be viewed here.
The interior, which is expected to be complete in February, will include a reception area with monitors for educational videos, patient changing rooms, a patient examination room, digital mammography equipment, space for supportive laboratory services and a passenger cab area. A motorized retractable awning on the outside of the coach will provide expanded space for patient reception, registration and education.
“KentuckyOne Health is proud to support Governor and First Lady Beshear in their efforts to increase access to leading-edge cancer screening programs,” said Ruth W. Brinkley, president and CEO of KentuckyOne Health. “Early cancer detection has proven to reduce cancer mortality and bring hope to our fight against cancer in Kentucky. It is an honor to work with the Governor and First Lady in our shared vision of improving health and wellness across the Commonwealth.”
“For more than 25 years, the James Graham Brown Cancer Center has demonstrated the success of mobile cancer screening,” said Donald M. Miller, MD, PhD, director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center. “Our mobile mammography program has provided thousands of breast cancer screenings in local communities across the Commonwealth and made an impact on the fight against cancer. The Horses and Hope screening van provides additional reach across Kentucky and ability to screen for a range of additional cancers.”
“I believe each of us would be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t had a loved one or close friend diagnosed with cancer. At the University of Louisville, we strive daily that the diagnoses are earlier so the survival rate is higher. This new van, spearheaded by First Lady Jane Beshear, will help the people throughout the Commonwealth get those screenings,” said David L. Dunn, M.D., Ph.D., UofL executive vice president for health affairs.
The mobile unit is scheduled to begin providing services in March. This spring and summer, Horses and Hope will offer free mammography screenings at Keeneland, Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Horse Park as part of the Bluegrass Mammography Tour for equine industry employees. The first leg of the tour will take place on April 26, 2016 at Keeneland. Additionally, the unit will host a skin cancer screening tour this summer to provide free screenings and raise awareness and education for skin cancer prevention.
Services and screenings will be delivered through the James Graham Brown Cancer Center that has a Nationally Accredited Breast Center licensed by the American College of Radiology, KentuckyOne Health and supported by the Kentucky Cancer Program.
Horses and Hope has hosted several breast cancer race days at Kentucky racetracks in the past seven years, reaching nearly 1 million race track and horse show fans and educating nearly 16,000 equine employees. The program has screened more than 700 workers and saved the lives of three individuals through screening services.
About the Kentucky Cancer Program: The Kentucky Cancer Program is the state mandated cancer control program jointly administered by the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville and the Lucille Parker Markey Cancer Center at the University of Kentucky. The mission of the Kentucky Cancer Program is to reduce cancer incidence and mortality by promoting cancer education, research and service. For more information, visit our website, www.kycancerprogram.org or call 502-852-6318.
About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center: The James Graham Brown Cancer Center is a key component of the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center. As part of the region's leading academic, research and teaching health center, the cancer center provides the latest medical advances to patients, often long before they become available in non-teaching settings. The JGBCC is a part of KentuckyOne Health and is affiliated with the Kentucky Cancer Program. It is the only cancer center in the region to use a unified approach to cancer care, with multidisciplinary teams of physicians working together to guide patients through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. For more information, visit our web site, www.browncancercenter.org.
About KentuckyOne Health: KentuckyOne Health, the largest and most comprehensive health system in the Commonwealth, has more than 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies in Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is dedicated to bringing wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved. The system is made up of the former Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System, along with the University of Louisville Hospital and James Graham Brown Cancer Center. KentuckyOne Health is proud of and strengthened by its Catholic, Jewish and academic heritages.