Institute Introduces Voucher Program to Support Women with Breast Cancer

TYRONE – Officials from Tyrone Hospital’s Breast Cancer & Women’s Health Institute (BCWHI) have announced the BCWHI Voucher Program, a program to assist women with the financial burden associated with breast cancer.

Women battling breast cancer and their families are profoundly affected by this disease and deal with many stressors. Among them are financial stressors. “The goal of our voucher program is to relieve financial burden in a patient’s time of need, said David Arbutina M.D., medical director of BCWHI.

Costs associated with breast cancer care and recovery are numerous and significant. There are costs for direct medical care, transportation costs associated with cancer treatments, expenses for medical supplies and other items such as wigs and prosthetic bras.

Women who are underinsured or who do not have health insurance often find themselves with mounting expenses intensifying an already stressful experience.  Additionally, the process of cancer treatment and recovery is typically lengthy keeping working women away from their jobs which can significantly reduce a family’s income.

Lannette Johnston, director of outreach for the BCWHI said, “We understand many women experience additional stressors when given a diagnosis of breast cancer.  We want to help ease some of those stressors through the voucher program.”

The voucher program will be funded completely though charitable contributions. The Girl’s Night Out Altoona Inc., an organization that conducts fundraisers to support breast health providers and their patients has provided $5,500 as start-up funding.

A special committee has been formed to address fundraising for the voucher program.  Committee members will determine how the voucher program funds will be allocated.

Committee members include: Joyce Arbutina, Nancy Heeman, Lannette Johnston and Kate Coltabaugh of BCWHI, Cindee Banas, Jamie Long, Valerie Huber, Jessica Costanza and Diane Colpetzer of Tyrone Hospital, Kelly Wike, president of the Tyrone Hospital Board of Directors and Juls Bratton of the Tyrone Hospital Foundation Board of Directors and Girls Night Out Altoona Inc.

Women who are patients of the BCWHI and who do not have health insurance or who are underinsured may be eligible for financial support through the BCWHI Voucher Program. Women who wish to apply need to complete and submit a BCWHI Voucher Program application.

Voucher application forms are accessible in the literature rack in the main lobby at Tyrone Hospital, at the BCWHI office located at 154 Hospital Dr., Suite 5, in Tyrone and on the BCWHI webpage at

For more information about the voucher program please contact Johnston at or by calling 814-682-1800.

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