Published on March 05, 2010

Free Community Cancer Screening to Raise Awareness About Prevention and Early Detection

Health Insurance Counseling and Registration Also Available as Part of National, State Outreach

Takoma Park, Md. - Washington Adventist Hospital will hold a free community cancer screening event on Sunday, March 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and also provide health insurance counseling and registration to uninsured residents as part of national Cover the Uninsured Week and a Maryland hospital initiative called "Enroll Maryland."

The cancer screenings offered will be for bladder, colorectal, oral, prostate, skin and thyroid cancers. Clinical Breast Exams (CBEs) will also be conducted. The hospital is located at 7600 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park, Maryland.

"Regular screening is critical for detection and removal of precancerous growths, as well as the diagnosis of cancers at an early stage, when they are most treatable," said Dr. Kash Firozvi, medical oncologist at Washington Adventist Hospital.

In addition to the screenings, insurance coverage specialists will be on hand to provide counseling and enrollment into county, state and federal assistance programs for residents who lack health insurance. It is estimated that in Maryland, 800,000 people do not have health-care insurance. Many of these people are eligible for low-cost or free health-care coverage through medical assistance.

"As the largest provider of uncompensated and charity care in Montgomery County, Washington Adventist Hospital is committed to helping the underserved," said Joyce Portela, Senior Executive Officer for Washington Adventist Hospital. "In fulfilling our mission of meeting the health-care needs of our community, we want to ensure continued access to health-care resources for our residents and their families."

To register for the cancer screening, call 1-800-542-5096. Walk-ins during the screening event at the hospital are welcome. You do not need to register to see an insurance coverage specialist. Assistance will be available in English and Spanish.

Cover the Uninsured Week is a national effort to raise awareness of and call for solutions for the 46 million Americans, including 9 million children, living without health insurance. For more information, go to www.covertheuninsured.org.

Enroll Maryland is a statewide initiative, coordinated by the Maryland Hospital Association, which is designed to get more Marylanders access to health care. For more information, go to www.mhaonline.org.

"Helping members of our community in need gain access to health-insurance coverage and free health screenings can play a vital role in contributing to their health," Portela said.

Washington Adventist Hospital is a 288-bed acute-care facility located in Takoma Park, Maryland. Washington Adventist Hospital is Montgomery County's first cardiac center, performing more than 500 open-heart surgeries and more than 6,000 heart catheterizations each year. Washington Adventist Hospital is part of Adventist HealthCare, an integrated health-care delivery system based in Rockville, Maryland, that is one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland.