Xinh Nguyen had some basic health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act, but said she was used to having to look after herself when it came to regular preventative care like breast and cervical screenings. After losing her job and private insurance in 2017, infrequent and inconvenient checkups became the norm for her.
A radio advertisement promoting the CAP Foundation’s See, Test & Treat® event at Arlington Primary Clinic in Arlington, Texas, convinced Xinh and her friend Loan Tran to attend. The event was held in partnership with the Vietnamese American Health Professionals Association.
Not only were Xinh and Loan able to receive free breast and cervical cancer screening during the conveniently timed weekend event, they also got to learn a lot about their health.
“I am very happy to find doctors that speak Vietnamese and that people here are very helpful and attentive,” Xinh said.
Sang Wu, MD, FCAP, and Jaclyn Rudzinski, MD, FCAP, were the host pathologists for the Arlington event. This was Dr. Wu’s fourth time serving as the lead pathologist for See, Test & Treat, a testament to his belief in the program’s impact.
Jonathan Lam, MD, a family medicine doctor serving the Arlington area, was also on hand to discuss an array of health issues and treatment options, while social workers and educators onsite provided information on governmental health insurance programs, nutrition, habits for a healthy lifestyle, and other health education.
In 2019, See, Test & Treat programs screened almost 900 women through 16 events in 11 states. As a result of the 2019 programs, at least seven women have been diagnosed with cancer and connected with treatment through See, Test & Treat.
Of those patients who completed surveys seeking feedback on the events, over 90% responded that they felt more comfortable seeing a doctor through the See, Test & Treat program. Along with standard free cervical and breast cancer screenings, each See, Test & Treat is designed to provide culturally appropriate care for the unique needs of the community.
The Arlington event was a prime example of this. Asian American populations have some of the lowest rates of cervical and breast cancer screening among all ethnic groups in the US. Doctors and translators were able to describe Xinh’s and Loan’s tests and subsequent results in the language they felt most comfortable with and could best understand.
In addition to the screenings, the program included a hepatitis awareness component. Hepatitis B virus infection is endemic in Asia and is common in Asian American communities. Stigma around the disease can prevent people from getting tested and seeking medical care.
Health care outreach to at-risk communities such as the one at Arlington is essential. See, Test & Treat pathologists and their clinical colleagues recognize the need for this outreach, which wouldn’t be possible without partnerships like those with Hologic, Methodist Dallas Medical Center, and Quest Diagnostics, who all supported the event.
Xinh left See, Test & Treat ready to spread the word to others in her community. “I have a lot of friends in my age group that do not have insurance, so I will surely tell my friends about this program.”