San Juan Basin Public Health began offering free cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to women aged 21 through 64 in January 2017 through the Women’s Wellness Connection, a program of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

“Many forms of cancer are preventable if women get screened early,” said Tiffany Switzer, Clinic Manager. “This expansion of services by the Women’s Wellness Connection will help young women who can least afford screening stay cancer-free.”

Eligibility for these services previously began at age 40. The Women’s Wellness Connection is expanding eligibility to include younger women who may not have the income or insurance coverage to pay for these important screening services. To qualify for these free services, women must earn less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level, be in the United States legally, and have no health insurance or have health insurance with high deductibles or co-pays.

Women are eligible for a number of diagnostic procedures. If a woman enrolled in the Women’s Wellness Connection is diagnosed with cancer, most will qualify for treatment through Health First Colorado’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program.

San Juan Basin Public Health also offers free breast cancer screening for women ages 40 to 64 who meet the same eligibility requirements. Women can check eligibility and clinic locations at the Women’s Wellness Connection.

Every year in the United States, approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and about 4,000 women die of the disease. Latinas and African-American women are at higher risk for developing and dying from cervical cancer. The Women’s Wellness Connection provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings to eligible women at more than 120 locations.