ANYONE can get care at Womankind

October 13 – When it comes to Womankind, it’s the patient – men, women or teens – that comes first. Always.

Cali Roberts, Executive Director of Womankind, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about the organization.

While COVID hurt fundraising for the group, that has changed this week.

Roberts said, “I am flying high. We haven’t had fundraising events since COVID started. We came out of the gate this week.”

The annual Brazaar event last Saturday raised more than $60,000 for Womankind.

Roberts said, “To be in a community that is so generous and who understands that everybody in this community matters and that they contribute and they put their money where their mouth is such a humbling and energizing position to be in.”

The Brazaar is a decorated bra auction.

Roberts said, “Our bras this year were fantastic. Our models were incredible and they sold those bras and we made a lot of money.”

The money will go toward Womankind’s sliding scale program. So if a person is uninsured and comes to Womankind for care, they pay based on their income.

Last night an event at Tattoos and Scars raised almost $30,000 for Womankind.

That money will be used for patients to get diagnostic testing at the hospital.

Roberts said, “We were great at getting people their screening tests, but when they found out that there was something abnormal then they just stopped because they didn’t have any way to continue their care. So with this pool of money we are going to be able to reinvigorate that program and start doing diagnostic testing again over at the Lower Keys Medical Center, who gives us a great deal on their prices and we are able to extend the funding further than if we were just buying it at the regular rate. It will get a lot of people care and a lot of people testing.”

A lot of times the diagnostic testing comes back to find nothing, but the peace of mind is priceless.

Breast Cancer Awareness month is always a busy week for Womankind and prevention is the key.

Roberts said, “Preventative is everything. That’s why Womankind is so important because we are making preventative care accessible. A lot of people will say I have a little pool of money if something happens, I’ll go to the doctor. Which is a way to do it, but the better way is to have preventative care and we are making that accessible. We are saying that we can help offset the cost of those preventative visits, so it is a doable thing. A lot of women prioritize other things over their annual exam.”

Womankind is also able to provide primary care as well.

Roberts said, “That is a fabulous feature and women are loving that feature.”

Anyone is eligible to get care at Womankind.

Roberts explained, “Half of our patients are insured women that come to Womankind, number one, some of them were uninsured and used our services previously and now that they’re insured, they love the care, they love the office and they know that their visit is offsetting the cost of somebody that needs to utilize the sliding scale.”

The other half of patients who aren’t insured are service workers or stay-at-home caretakers.

Roberts said, “We run the gamut. Our patients run from 13 years of age up until I think our oldest patient is in her early 90s. We have a vibrant teen population. Everybody is eligible to come for Womankind. We will vet each individual to make sure they are paying exactly what they should be paying.”

Five percent of the patients are men and there is also a percentage of men who contract breast cancer.

Roberts said, “We’ll have wives who will send their husbands here because before you have your screening mammogram, you need a clinical breast exam, which is an exam when the practitioner actually palpates the breast and feels for the lumps and decides where the mammogram should be occurring. Men come and we do several a year and we have had I think in our history, we’ve had two. We’ve had two men that had breast cancer.”

In addition to gynecology and family planning, there are ultrasounds on site, as well as an onsite pharmacy that provides low cost medications.

Roberts said, “If they are coming to the doctor, we want to make sure that they are getting as many things touched on as they can.”

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