Breaking down barriers: Good Shepherd offers free mammograms, preventative services for uninsured women

Sierra Rains
srains@ardmoreite.com
The Good Shepherd Community Clinic's location on 12th Avenue Northwest in Ardmore.

The Good Shepherd Community Clinic has multiple preventative care options for women who lack access to affordable healthcare.  

Free mammograms, breast exams and other services are available to Good Shepherd patients year-round. Those who are not patients will also have an opportunity to take advantage of the clinic’s annual free Mammogram Day on Oct. 22. 

Good Shepherd Executive Director Teresa Myers said the clinic, which is designated as a comprehensive Community Health Center, is able to offer free mammograms for income-eligible women ages 45 and up without health insurance coverage through a grant from the Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation. 

Mercy Hospital Ardmore also works with the clinic to provide the mammograms at a discounted price, and performs screenings for Good Shepherd patients. 

“Early detection is key in fighting breast cancer and we want to be a part of that process, and not have any barriers to women who don’t have insurance being able to get those tests done,” Myers said. “They’re quite expensive.”

Women can visit the Good Shepherd Clinic, located at 20 12th Avenue Northwest in Ardmore, anytime between 8:40 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 to complete the process to have a free mammogram performed. 

Individuals will be asked to fill out paperwork, and will then receive a voucher and be able to schedule an appointment with a representative from Mercy Hospital — all in the matter of around 10 minutes. Myers said the clinic has over 100 women who come in for free mammograms each year. 

“We usually find one or two that unfortunately have cancer or are suspected to have cancer — and that’s why we do it,” Myers said. “We’re able to get some of those in and get them help really quickly, and be able to have an advantage against fighting breast cancer.”

Those who can’t make it out to the annual Mammogram Day can still have a mammogram done by becoming a patient and setting up an appointment at the clinic. “They can get access to a free mammogram anytime of the year,” Myers said. “We just did a really big push since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”

The clinic also offers breast exams for patients and can help with other preventative measures, such as nutrition. Foods like sweet potatoes and carrots that are high in beta-carotene can help fight breast cancer, Myers said. 

“We can provide breast exams to help them be reassured whether it’s something they should be concerned about or not,” Myers said. “Especially if they notice lumps or abnormalities in their breasts.” 

Most insurance plans will cover mammograms for women at a certain age because the services are considered preventative care, Myers said. However, the clinic can help those who are without coverage. 

Myers said she would highly encourage women ages 45 and older to take advantage of the annual Mammogram Day or the clinic’s services. “It’s really just something that women should do once we hit a certain age,” Myers said. “We should take care of those kinds of things, it’s more prevalent in advanced ages.” 

To find out more information or set up an appointment, contact the Good Shepherd Community Clinic at (580) 223-3411 or visit www.buildinghealthypeople.org.