LANSING, Mich. – A partnership between the United Health Foundation and the Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) to develop a pilot program for genetic testing and screening for breast cancer was announced Thursday.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the three-year partnership after she proclaimed October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The American Cancer Society and MPCA will screen additional patients and engage high-risk patients and their family members in genetic testing. The goal is to increase patient education and screening rates to improve transitions of care.
“One of the most crucial things we can do to prevent and treat breast cancer is raise awareness and expand access to health care, cancer screenings, and genetic testing,” Whitmer said. “This partnership will make an enormous difference for Michiganders everywhere who have a history of cancer in their families. I am grateful to the United Health Foundation for its generous support and partnership with the Michigan Primary Care Association. I will continue to work closely with everyone who wants to protect and expand access to health care in our state.”
Michigan is expected to have more than 8,800 new cases and more than 1,380 deaths from breast cancer this year, officials said.
The United Health Foundation and MPCA partnership will support expanded services at CHASS – Community Health & Social Services Center (Detroit), Cherry Health (Grand Rapids), East Jordan (East Jordan), Western Wayne (Inkster) and Honor Community Health (Pontiac).
“Many routine and annual screening appointments have been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “As we observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, it’s important to remember that while we must take precautions to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s also crucial we seek important medical care and regular screenings that can detect cancer before symptoms appear.”