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The Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation (VGHHCF) is partnering with Vinton's Fareway Meat and Grocery Store from September 14-19 to raise funds in support of women's health in Benton County. The "Round Up for Hope" campaign will collect the change when customers choose to round their transactions up to the nearest dollar amount. Those donations will be directed to the VGHHCF program, Gifts of Hope.

It is the second year Fareway has participated in the "Round Up for Hope" initiative first introduced in 2019. The program netted $2,000 in its inaugural year with an additional $300 from Fareway employees who participated in casual dress day.

Gifts of Hope provides free mammograms and diagnostic services to Benton County residents who need financial assistance. The program helps offset expenses incurred from clinic visits and co-pays as patients need diagnostic services, such as mammograms, pap tests, pelvic exams, and the analysis of those tests. Gifts of Hope was created to assist those who have no insurance, or have a health insurance policy that does not pay for these services, and cannot pay deductible or co-insurance amounts.

Sharon Happel is one of the VGH patients who have received assistance from the fund. "Learning about the Gifts of Hope program was a Godsend. Some of the financial worries that come with a cancer diagnosis were eased. No matter how great your insurance is, there are always things that aren't covered-like deductibles and some testing. Gifts of Hope helped bridge that gap, and I am very grateful!"

Applications are not needed to utilize these funds. Patients are encouraged to talk to their healthcare provider at any of the four Virginia Gay Family Medical Clinics located in Atkins, Urbana, Van Horne, and Vinton. The clinic staff will make arrangements for those patients.

Each year, the VGHHCF distributes more than $20,000 to support women's health in Benton County. Community support and generosity allow the organization to expand the number of patients receiving assistance and ensure that everyone in our area can access 3D mammography and diagnostic services.

"The importance of mammograms and regular screenings in the fight against cancer cannot be overemphasized. Early detection saves lives and finances should not be an obstacle to those life-saving diagnostic tests. Gifts of Hope ensures that those in need in our area have access to that kind of care," says Robin Martin, VGHHCF director. "The support we receive from individuals and business partners like Fareway make the communities we serve such great places to call home. That kind of generosity can't be found just anywhere."

About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer throughout her lifetime. About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. Screening with mammograms is key to finding breast cancer early before any symptoms can develop. At that point, cancer usually is easier to treat.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the imaging department at Virginia Gay Hospital will be offering free gifts with mammograms scheduled during the month of October while supplies last. Patients should talk with their Virginia Gay Family Medical Clinic healthcare provider about the risk of breast cancer and recommendations on mammography based on age and health history. If a mammogram has been ordered by a healthcare provider, patients may call the imaging department at 472-6288 or scheduling at 319-472-6270 for an appointment. 3D mammograms are currently being scheduled for Mondays and Tuesdays, 9 AM to 3 PM, and on Fridays, noon to 3 PM.

Direct donations to the Gifts of Hope fund can also be made online at To learn more about the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation and other programs it sponsors and supports, please visit or contact Robin Martin by phone (319) 472-6375 or by email at


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