Yvette Garity had tried to quit smoking on her own, but it just wasn’t working. So, after 42 years as a smoker, Yvette enrolled in the smoking cessation program at AAMC. As it turns out, that program may have saved her life.
The coordinator of the cessation program recognized that the 58 year-old Edgewater resident’s smoking history suggested a high risk for developing lung cancer. She recommended Yvette for the Lung Screening program. “I thought, that’s good,” Yvette said, “because I will be able to see how much my lungs have improved by quitting smoking.”
More people like Yvette will have access to AAMC’s Lung Screening Program thanks to a recent grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. The Geaton and JoAnn DeCesaris Cancer Institute at Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) was awarded a three-year $1.25 million grant for lung cancer prevention and screening from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.
This grant will enable AAMC to expand lung cancer prevention services within high-risk populations living in underserved communities in Anne Arundel, Calvert and Prince George’s Counties. AAMC’s outreach plan includes providing smoking prevention education, smoking cessation programs and lung cancer screening education both to health care providers and community members.
This grant will allow us to better reach and inform at-risk patients in the region about the need for lung cancer screening and provide desperately needed education and resources for smoking cessation – Stephen Cattaneo, MD, director of thoracic surgery at Anne Arundel Medical Center.
AAMC has already begun extending lung cancer prevention and screening to at-risk groups. Tobacco treatment specialists visit schools to provide smoking prevention education to students and meet clients weekly at community clinics to provide free smoking cessation counseling. More recently, AAMC provided transportation for residents from a nearby public housing community in order to receive their lung cancer screenings.
While Medicare and many other insurance companies cover lung cancer screening, the Bristol Myers Squibb grant will provide an opportunity for AAMC to reach many other communities in the future by increasing access to lung cancer prevention education, screening and follow-up care in underserved communities.