SeMRHI Women’s Center recognizes National Women’s Health Week

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 5:24 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker visited Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative’s Women’s Center to proclaim National Women’s Health Week.

All day, the clinic offered free health screenings.

Nurse practitioner Candance Johnson explained the critical need for these annual check-ups.

“It’s very important to have a women’s health center, especially for our basic women’s health needs,” Johnson said. “We need annual mammograms, pap smear screenings and also other gynecologic issues.”

Johnson said each test and screening has its own important impact on a woman’s health. For example, with a mammogram, Johnson says, “Those are important because just coming to get a simple breast screening, we can find things like lumps in your breasts that may lead to a biopsy.”

Johnson said that if ignored, small health issues can escalate, which could increase your chances of hospitalizations.

Barker said putting off annual checkups can cause dangers to your health, and Hattiesburg hospitals are seeing the effects.

“What we’re seeing right now throughout the city is higher rates of hospitalization, not because of COVID, but because of health care issues that have been neglected over the past 15 months, that people have missed appointments, people haven’t taken advantage of going to their regular screenings,” Barker said.

Since it’s Women’s Health Week, if you need to set up your annual health screening, SeMRHI reminds you to check in with your doctor – or reach out to its women’s clinic.

“We have a sliding scale,” Johnson said. “So if you’re worried about not having insurance coverage, come in and see if you’re available for the sliding scale and you may be able to get in at a discounted rate. Some people think they may be healthy, but when you look at those numbers, you need a little work.”

The women’s clinic offers a Spanish translator service and American Sign Language translators upon request.

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