menubarKalispell Regional Medical Center

Kalispell Regional Medical Center

Save a Sister

The Save a SisterTM initiative is a collaboration among Kalispell Regional Healthcare, North Valley Hospital and the Flathead City-County Health Department. Our mission is to lessen the impact of breast cancer in our community.

The initiative's goals are to improve women's access to screening mammography, educate the community, and promote breast cancer awareness and prevention through outreach activities. Save a Sister also supports postoperative durable goods that often are not paid for by insurance. All funds stay in the local area.

For more information about Save a Sister and available financial assistance, call (877) 399-0384.

Our Impact

The women helped by this program are our neighbors, family members and friends. Since its inception in 2008, Save a Sister has provided more than 1,000 mammograms and ultrasounds for local women, as well as biopsies, lymphedema garments and nutrition classes.

Read what local women have to say about the program:

"Dear Save a Sister, thank you for helping cover the cost of my second mammogram. It was unnerving enough to be tested a second time, and then finding out our insurance wouldn’t help. Thanks for all you do."

"I just want to say thank you Save a Sister foundation for all that you do. I thought my breast cancer was gone, but it reoccurred. I used my life savings to pay medical bills, and without Save a Sister there would have been many more. I want you all to know that this program has made my life a bit easier, and it is appreciated more than you will ever know."

"My sister-in-law is always keeping an eye out for breast programs and emailing info to me. In other words: harping on me to keep up with mammograms for cancer detection – which took my mom’s life. I keep putting it off. And off. And off. Then she alerted me to the bus you set up in the Harvest Food parking lot in Bigfork, MT. I finally took advantage. It was slick, well-organized, efficient, wonderfully synchronized by great women and quicker than getting a filling at the dentist!! I received a follow-up notice that all is well and I have normal results! My mind is relieved and I did not have to go through setting up appointments and running around for images, etc. Thank you for coming to me and making that so simple for me. I appreciate all the work you do to make it easy for me and without cost to me!! Thank you so much."

Screening Guidelines

Save a Sister is committed to making sure that all women are empowered with knowledge about their screening choices and that any woman eligible for a screening mammogram can have one without worrying about the cost.

While the recommendations for when to start getting screening mammograms and how often to get them vary among different organizations, some things remain absolutely clear: Mammography is the most effective breast cancer screening tool we have today, and screening mammograms save lives. The magnitude of benefit from screening simply varies by age.

The American Cancer Society recommends:
  • Women ages 40-44 who are at average risk should talk with their health care provider about the pros and cons of starting screening mammograms.
  • Women ages 45-54 should have a mammogram every year.
  • After age 55 a woman and her doctor can decide whether continuing mammograms every year or changing to every two years is right for her.
  • Screening mammography should continue for as long as a woman is in good health. 
Women at higher risk due to family history or personal health factors may need to begin screening earlier and have studies in addition to mammograms.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Halt Cancer at X program (a fundraiser through the Event at Rebecca Farm), high-risk breast cancer screening is available at The Women’s Center through the Save a Sister program. With just a few additional questions during your mammogram, plus a modern computer program at our facility, we can help determine your risk of developing breast cancer (using the Tyrer Cuzick model). If we determine you are at a higher risk for breast cancer and would benefit from additional screening, we will contact you and your doctor to inform you of the next steps. Other options to consider at this point for additional information include:
  • Undergoing genetics testing (a blood test) for one of the many genes that cause breast cancer
  • An evaluation by a certified genetics counselor

Community Partners

Kalispell Regional Healthcare
Kalispell Regional Medical Center
North Valley Hospital*
The Women's Center at The HealthCenter*
*Screening site

Flathead City-County Health Department: Cancer Screening Services

Breast Cancer Information

Additional Resources

Events

Cancer Awareness and Fundraising Events

Get Involved

Volunteer
If you are interested in volunteering to support Save a Sister, please contact Muffie Thomson at (406) 758-1468.

Donate
Your support of this program is life-changing for hundreds of women in the Flathead Valley. When a woman first feels a lump, her next thought should never be, “I can’t afford to have a mammogram.”

Please join us in continuing to fund this collaborative program to support, protect and save our sisters.

Donate to Save a Sister through the Kalispell Regional Healthcare Foundation.

Save a Sister does not solicit donations by phone. If you receive a phone call asking for donations to Save a Sister, it is most likely fraudulent activity.