September 8 – When it comes to women helping women, Womankind has been doing so in Key West since 2001.
Cali Roberts, Executive Director of Womankind, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about the organization.
Womankind has been in operation for more than 20 years and the goal has always been to have a center for health care that is respectful and empowering to women.
Roberts said, “Our first year, Womankind was open on a part time schedule and we saw about 900 visits that first year. Last year we saw close to 6,000. So we have grown tremendously over those two decades.”
It began with grassroots efforts. Women in town raised money to get the organization open.
Roberts said, “It has still retained that community support over all of these years. Womankind exists because of the community participating and supporting us. Fifty percent of our patients are insured, while 50% are uninsured. The business model for Womankind has always been women helping women. So women who choose to come to us, that have insurance, that can go to private practices, they choose to come to Womankind knowing that their visit is supporting another woman in town who wouldn’t be able to get medical care if it wasn’t for our sliding scale.”
A new medical director recently came on board, as well as a new nurse practitioner.
Womankind provides family planning services, gynecological care, menopausal support, chronic illness management, and non-emergency convenient care that women and men need.
Fundraisers also help support Womankind. An upcoming fundraiser that coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Month is Brazaar.
It’s a decorated bra auction.
Roberts said, “It’s our largest event, but it’s also one of our most fun. We have so many creative people in Key West and they create beautiful bras, decorated bras. Costumes, things that you can wear plenty of times throughout the season down here in Key West. Now it’s also gone to full ensembles. We have skirts and tutus and hats and necklaces that go with the bras.”
The bras are modeled during a live auction at the Key West Theater on October 8. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show will begin at 7. Tickets just went on sale here: https://thekeywesttheater.com/
Sponsorship opportunities are also available and if you would be interested in decorating a bra, call Roberts at 305-320-0608.
The money raised will go toward women’s visits and for helping women who need diagnostic testing after they get an abnormal mammogram result. One in eight women in her lifetime will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Roberts said, “The Key West Zonta Club, Zonta Key West, a group of wonderful, beautiful, kind women have been for 20 years providing screening mammograms, your annual screening mammograms. If you are a Womankind patient and you are uninsured, Zonta Key West will pay for your annual mammogram and they have done tens of thousands of mammograms over the years for Womankind patients.”
Mike Stapleford of KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM pointed out, “That preventative measure is certainly, can be live saving in many instances.”
Roberts added, “It saves on costs. If you wait two years, your treatments are going to cost a lot more than if you find something at very early stages. It can be treated easily. It has less repercussions. So there’s a lot of good reasons for preventative care.”
Breast screenings should be done on an annual basis.
Roberts said, “We have young girls who have come in and they find lumps and they have cancer young. It does happen, so you have to be aware of your breast. Women know their bodies. If you feel a lump, please go and get it checked. One of the most heartbreaking things we have is a woman that we get diagnosis back that it is positive for cancer and she breaks down because she knew it and she was putting it off because she didn’t want to go to the doctor. She said I felt the lump and I was just hoping it would go away and I put it off for too long. Please, we are urging everyone. We have the means to make sure everyone has access to a mammogram, so please, do not put it off.”
For more information on Womankind, click here: https://www.womankindkeywest.com/