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Health, Science and Environment

LGBTQ Inclusive Mammogram Screenings

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Mammogram Machine by themozhi's pixel displays is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
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Spectrum Health will host a LGBTQ-plus “affirming” screening event with the Betty Ford Breast Care Services Mobile Mammography Unit.  Accessible and inclusive early detection screenings will be held at the Baxter Community Center.

The Betty Ford Breast Care Services Mobile Mammography Unit will be at the Baxter Community Center in Grand Rapids on Saturday, June 12th

The event is the LGBTQ-plus “affirming” screening event.  Organizers telling us the word “affirming” is key.

“For many individuals in this particular community, there has been negative experiences within the healthcare system within organizations so, there’s a trust issue.”

Grace Huizinga, President of the Grand Rapids LGBTQ-plus Healthcare Consortium says this is especially true as it relates to prevention and screening services.

“In other words, if I’ve had a negative experience, I’m going to go in when I absolute need it and not necessarily if there’s nothing wrong. So, the prevention gets left behind.  So, we’re seeing that in the health data.”

The screenings are in partnership with the Baxter Center along with the Grand Rapids Pride Center, Grand Rapids LGBTQ+ Healthcare Consortium, and the West Michigan Coalition for Breast Health.  Clinical staff from the Spectrum Health Cancer Center who are familiar with the LGBTQ+ community and their health care needs will be on-hand for consultations, which Huizinga says is also important. 

“So, it’s using things such as pronouns, the way you refer to the particular needs of someone in this community is very important.”

Breast cancer is most treatable and curable when it is detected early and the American College of Radiology urges women to get a mammogram every year once they reach age 40.

Huizenga says appointments are required and you can call (616) 456-6022 to schedule.