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Northside Hospital gets grants for breast cancer services
Its the Journey recently presented Northside Hospital System with a grant. Taking part in the check presentation were Laurel Sybilrud, right, with Its the Journey and Dale Israel with Northside. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

FORSYTH COUNTY — Thanks to two grants, Northside Hospital may be able to help more local women screen for and treat breast cancer.

The hospital system recently received more than $200,000 in grant funding from Komen Atlanta and It's the Journey, which holds the Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer.

“One [grant] we’ve gotten for the last few years and it focuses on mammography and education and that kind of thing,” said Astrid Wilkie-McKellar, a spokeswoman with the hospital's cancer institute. “But the second one [from It’s the Journey], which is a hereditary grant, this is the first time that we're able to offer this service.”

Wilkie-McKellar said that because of the grant, the institute will be able to offer hereditary screenings.

“There are so many times when women are coming in for various screenings, but we never get a chance to do any sort of genetic counseling or hereditary screening,” she said.

The other funds came from the Susan G. Komen Foundation's Atlanta affiliate, which helps women in 13 counties in the metro Atlanta area.

“Primarily, its focus is on women who are under-insured or uninsured  who generally would not have access to these services,” Wilkie-McKellar said. “So we partner with a number of community-based organizations, and through those partnerships we're able to offer education about these services and offer referrals to them.”

Thanks to grants like these, Northside was able to screen 1,703 uninsured women for breast cancer, detecting 15 cases in 2014.

“We are eternally grateful to both of these organizations for the funding that they're able to offer,” Wilkie-McKellar said. “[And] also for the partnerships we're able to foster because of this funding and the women that we’re able to serve.”