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October 18, 2007
Contact: Jessica Michan 832.355.3791

First Interactive Web site on Breast Health Resource Mapping in Houston Goes Live
Web Site Aims to Improve Access to Breast Healthcare for the Underserved

HOUSTON - St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities today unveiled the first interactive Internet-based breast health resource in Houston ( called the Breast Health Portal (the Portal) at the Third Annual Greater Houston Area Breast Health Summit. The Portal, a shared effort by members of the Breast Health Collaborative of Texas, features a single web-based destination offering up-to-date information about breast health services in Houston, focusing on access for the underserved and uninsured. It is estimated that 25 percent of the Texas population is uninsured.

The Portal uniquely allows users to retrieve maps and data related to specified indicators, including demographic data on population and breast cancer mortality. These mapping capabilities will allow health planners to prioritize and identify underserved areas where there is insufficient capacity and help to determine expansion potential.

“St. Luke’s is proud to offer one site for people to access information on breast health in the Houston metropolitan area,” said David J. Fine, president and chief executive officer, St. Luke's Episcopal Health System. “The Breast Health Portal will serve as a model for other cities so this vital information can be replicated for any town, city, or metropolitan area in the country.”

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among women in Texas and the chances of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about one in eight. Access to current information regarding treatment and diagnostic services is critical.

The Portal is modeled after the St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities’ successful Project Safety Net (, a web site that locates and maps all safety net clinics in Harris County. The Portal offers the same capability to locate and identify locations of health treatment and diagnostic services, hours of operation, languages spoken, and financial requirements. Interactive online maps will feature color-coded city or county clinics, federally qualified health centers, hospital district services, and private non-profit services. Maps and data featured on the Portal cover eight counties that comprise the Houston metropolitan area: Chambers, Fort Bend, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, Waller, Galveston, and Brazoria counties.

“This web site is a much-needed resource for all Houston women, particularly those without insurance or access to medical care, who have been affected directly or through a family member or friend with breast cancer,” said Patricia Gail Bray, PhD, executive director, St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities. “Education and knowledge are crucial when it comes to early detection of this serious illness. That’s why we compiled it into one interactive web site that is both user-friendly and informative.”

The Portal is a collaborative effort by members of the Breast Health Collaborative of Texas, which includes St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities; The Rose; Houston Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, Texas Gulf Coast Affiliate; National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service; The University of Texas Medical Branch, Memorial Hermann- The Woodlands and American Cancer Society, Gulf Coast Region.

Both the Breast Health Portal and Project Safety Net are also located at St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities website,


St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System comprises the flagship St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, founded in 1954 by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas; St. Luke’s Community Medical Center–The Woodlands; St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities, a charity devoted to assessing and enhancing community health, especially among the underserved; and Kelsey-Seybold Management, LLP, overseeing 18 area clinic locations. St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital is under construction, scheduled to open in 2008. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital is home to the Texas Heart® Institute, founded in 1962 by Denton A. Cooley, MD, and is consistently ranked among the top 10 cardiology and heart surgery centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Affiliated with several nursing schools and two medical schools, St. Luke’s serves as the primary adult teaching hospital for Baylor College of Medicine. St. Luke’s was the first hospital in Texas named a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence, and the Health System has been recognized by FORTUNE as among“100 Best Companies to Work For” and by Houston Business Journal as a top employer in Houston.

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