Women's Way

Women’s Way provides a way to pay for most breast and cervical cancer screenings for eligible North Dakota women, and enrollment is now available at the Foster County Medical Center!  Eligible women ages 40 through 64 can receive clinical breast exams, Pap tests, and pelvic exams.  Women ages 50 through 64 are eligible for mammograms in addition to other services.   As of January, 2009, Women’s Way has screened more than 9,700 women, and, through those screenings, 167 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 234 women were diagnosed with cervical dysplasias.

As many as 24,000 women in North Dakota could be eligible for Women’s Way and receive breast and cervical screenings.  The CDC estimates that funds awarded to the state can provide screenings for 12-15 percent of potentially eligible women, and ND does stretch its funds to screen approximately 15 percent of potentially eligible women.  Limited diagnostic procedures are also available to women enrolled in Women’s Way.  In 2001, the North Dakota state legislature passed and Governor Hoeven signed legislation allowing uninsured Women’s Way clients who are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer to access treatment coverage through Medicaid – Women’s Way Treatment program.

In 1990, Congress passed the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act, which launched funding for the national breast and cervical cancer screening program.  Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dis tributes the money and oversees the national program.  North Dakota received funding in 1993 for planning and system development, and in 1997 screening services were first offered under the ND program, named Women’s Way. Women’s Way is administered through the North Dakota Department of Health and local public health offices.  More than 851 doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are enrolled as participating providers, making it possible for most clients to receive services through their regular doctor at 287 facilities across North Dakota.
Additional information is available at http://www.ndhealth.gov/womensway/ or by calling 1.800.44 WOMEN.