Merlin Foundation honored with award
The Arkansas Cancer Summit and the Josetta Wilkins Awards joined together to honor individuals and organizations in Arkansas who have exhibited extraordinary efforts in the fight against cancer.
Receiving the Organization award was the Merlin Foundation of Carroll County.
The annual Josetta Wilkins Awards are presented by BreastCare, a program of the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).
BreastCare provides free breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment to Arkansas women who have little or no health insurance.
The Josetta Wilkins Awards are named in honor of former state representative Dr. Josetta Wilkins, whose unyielding perseverance and passion for fighting breast cancer in Arkansas led to the passage of the Breast Cancer Control Act of 1997, which ultimately created the BreastCare program.
Other honorees this year included Vickie Vowell of Little Rock with the Individual award, and V. Suzanne Klimberg, M.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for the Professional award.
The Merlin Foundation, since 2001, has provided a continuum of services for uninsured, low income women of Carroll and Madison counties through screening, education and navigation. Due to the rural nature of these counties, limited access to services, low education and income levels, it continues to be their mission to provide more than health care to their clients. Among those things provided are mammograms, gas and phone cards, bilingual educational material and navigational support to increase the level of early detection and awareness of breast health issues. This program focuses on women over 40. The program has created trust by participation in health fairs and community events. The Merlin Foundation has also built strong partnerships with local hospitals, physicians, clinics, health departments, as well as the largest local employer, Tyson Foods.
With these efforts The Merlin Foundation has been able to reach a diverse, rural and underserved Hispanic population in Carroll and Madison counties.