THE FLOATING HOSPITAL’S MAMMOGRAM CLINIC PROVIDES EXAMS AND MORE
BY LANA BORTOLOT
THIS MONTH’S EVENT FOCUSED ON SELF-CARE
The Floating Hospital is among many health organizations that leverage October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as a way to raise awareness about the disease and encourage women to get a mammogram. But our mammogram event included something more: transportation for those who needed it via the Good Health Shuttle, health education, self-care, lunch and even essentials shopping for women.
Held on Saturday, October 17, the mammogram clinic was conducted with Multi Diagnostic Services from Jamaica, Queens, which donated its staff, services and imaging equipment. Community members and The Floating Hospital staff—even their families—volunteered time and talent before and after the event to stuff goody bags, prepare the clinic for exams (including social distancing protocols) and a mini-boutique where women could “shop” for new bras, underwear and pajamas, and receive gifts of natural skin-care products by Framiati. UnitedHealthcare provided facemasks, tote bags and lunch on site for the 33 women who received exams. The Floating Hospital’s long-time partner, Direct Relief, provided tote bags full of hygiene and personal-care products.
Organizer Sreeta Karl-Quintana, The Floating Hospital’s director of clinic operations, said the event, in its seventh year, demonstrates The Floating Hospital’s “passionate commitment to women’s health.”
But for her, “breast health is very personal.” Her grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 32 and had a double mastectomy at 40. Her mother also had a scare when a lump was found in her breast, her anxiety further heightened by a lack of health insurance.
In addition to serving a need within The Floating Hospital’s patient population, Sreeta said the mammo clinic was started because of a lack of service for uninsured and undocumented women—the former a group they’ve been seeing more of in recent years.
“Just knowing that we are doing everything we can to provide women in Queens with easy access to mammogram screenings gives me great joy,” Sreeta said. “We want women to know that their story is our story, and that they are not alone.”
The Floating Hospital holds mammogram clinics in April, August and October.
In addition to staff who volunteered their time and family members, The Floating Hospital thanks the following for their support: Multi Diagnostic Services, United Healthcare, Direct Relief, Dreamland Inc. for bras and sleepwear, Ramona Prioleau from Framiati; and community volunteers Danielle Brecker, Julia Forman and Lillian Kim.
The Floating Hospital provides high-quality healthcare to anyone who needs it regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, immigration or insurance status, or the ability to pay. By providing unrestricted medical care in tandem with health education and social support to vulnerable New York City families, The Floating Hospital aims to ensure those most in need have the ability to thrive, not just survive.