WILTON – The Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund has awarded a $45,000 grant to the Healthy Community Coalition to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer.

It is the fifth year that the program has received Avon Foundation funding to support its work on that health issue and in recognition of the excellence of the program.

The coalition will educate Franklin County-area women and refer them to low-cost or free mammograms and clinical breast exams in their own communities. It will also work with Franklin Memorial Hospital and area providers to remind women to have their annual mammograms in a timely fashion.

The coalition will build upon its successful breast cancer awareness initiative, funded by the Maine Breast and Cervical Cancer Program. That project covers mammography and screenings for income-eligible, uninsured women ages 40 to 64 and offers education and outreach throughout the community.

The Avon grant will improve outreach to women in the northernmost regions of the county.

“Franklin County has a tragically high rate of breast cancer mortality. We want to fight that – by encouraging early detection, when breast cancer is at its most treatable stage,” said Jennifer McCormack, coalition program coordinator.

“The best approach in our very rural, tightly knit community is a home grown approach, and we are thankful to the Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund for recognizing that with a continuation grant to the Healthy Community Coalition,” said McCormack.

For more information on the coalition’s breast cancer awareness program, call McCormack at 645-3136 or 1-800-525-3136, ext. 5102. For more information about breast cancer, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 or www.cancer.org, or the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-4-CANCER or www.cancer.gov.

To learn more about the Avon Foundation, call 1-866-505-AVON or visit www.avonfoundation.org. For information or to register or support the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer events, visit www.avonwalk.org or call 1-877-WALK-AVON.

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