New women’s health initiative seeks to ‘bridge the gap’

Submitted Rebecca Farris Allen, executive director of the Community Health Clinic, answers questions Thursday from Heels Together investors. The clinic received a $15,000 grant for its women’s health initiative.

Central Kentucky women who are in need of cancer screenings, mammograms and pelvic exams soon will be able to receive services at the Community Health Clinic.

“Women who are not receiving the care they need can come to the clinic and get it,” said Rebecca Farris Allen, executive director of the clinic.

On Thursday, the clinic received a $15,000 grant for its women’s health initiative, which will fund dentures, mammograms and X-rays. Allen said they decided to start the women’s health initiative after the Lincoln Trail District Health Department ended its family planning, comprehensive prenatal care and Kentucky women’s cancer screening programs.

The 16-year-old clinic provides basic health and dental care, prescription assistance, advocacy and education to those who are uninsured or underinsured. The clinic serves residents of Hardin, LaRue, Meade, Breckinridge and Grayson counties.

Allen said when she found out about the fate of health department programs, she knew people would be doing without.

“We wanted to step up and bridge the gap,” she said.

The grant came from Heels Together, a group of women investors who give grants to projects that support women and girls in the community. The group held its fourth annual investors’ banquet Thursday night and heard presentations from the clinic and three other finalists.

Heels Together is under the umbrella of the Central Kentucky Community Foun­dation. Davette Swiney, foundation president, said the group has awarded more than $84,000 in grants since 2014.

“I’m excited to see what a difference we can make in the lives of women and children,” she said.

After the presentations, investors voted on how to distribute $22,000. Warm Blessings received $7,000 for its transportation program that helps individuals get to work.

“When we see a problem, we try to make a difference,” said Linda Funk, executive director of the Elizabethtown soup kitchen.

Warm Blessings teamed up with Lincoln Trail Dis­trict Health Department, Transit Authority of Central Ken­tucky, Cleveland Johnson Cab Company and others to start Ride to Independence last year. They served 120 people before it ran out of money.

The Heels Together grant will go toward helping transport women and girls, Funk said.

“I just want better for every woman,” she said. “If women are strong and independent, families are stronger and communities are better.”

CASA of the Heartland and Hardin County Skills U were the other two finalists.

Allen said the $15,000 will help the clinic start radiology services. The clinic recently moved to a new and larger location and radiology equipment was donated as part of the move.

“We were graciously granted the facility and want to make the best use of it,” Allen said.

The women’s health initiative is part of that.

“This money will help tremendously,” she said.

Katherine Knott can be reached at 270-505-1747 or kknott@thenewsenterprise.com.

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