HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — When people find out about a program statewide making free health screenings available, they are usually surprised. The Connecticut Department of Public Health runs the program.

Hartford HealthCare is one of the health care providers involved in this program. A Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute outreach team frequently attends community events to educate women about their opportunities.

Most recently, they spoke with many parents dropping off and picking up their children at the Mount Olive Child Development Center in Hartford.

Photo provided by Hartford HealthCare

“We’ve had a lot of staff that has had breast cancer,” Executive Director Julienne Davis said. “Some of them have passed, so we like to do the awareness every year and encourage everybody to do their breast cancer screening.”

“This program reaches people who would otherwise not get screenings,” said Kimberly Silcox, the manager of cancer community outreach with Hartford HealthCare.

The outreach begins with a conversation with people.

“I run through the kinds of screenings that the program covers, the qualifications of the program, then I lead into, ‘Is this something that you may be interested in or a family member?'” explained Toyin Davis-Lewis, a cancer community outreach specialist with Hartford HealthCare.

If the answer is yes, they speak privately and give them a referral form. They are then contacted about a mammogram or other health screening by a bilingual patient navigator to set up tests and screening.