Project H.E.R. (Help. Enlightenment. Resources) is a comprehensive breast-health services program we offer for women in Benton, Linn, and Lincoln counties.
The program provides awareness, education, and support for all women, from the time of a breast-cancer diagnosis through survivorship. The Project H.E.R. team consists of a nurse navigator, MammaCare Specialists, and many volunteers who are breast-cancer survivors.
Project H.E.R. provides free services for breast-cancer patients through the financial assistance of The Corvallis Clinic Foundation, grants, and private donations.
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, one of your greatest resources is our Breast Health Nurse Navigator, Kathy Nepper, RN, OCN. She can help you coordinate the maze of healthcare resources, understand the disease and your treatment options. She can answer your many questions about treatment methods, surgery, time frames and side effects. She will help you understand the various medical doctors you will meet. If surgery is required, she stays in touch with you before and after surgery. She is available to you and your family for as long as needed.
Patients can contact our Project H.E.R. nurse directly or be referred by a health care professional. She works closely with all area physicians. Because it is not usually considered a medical emergency, you can take several weeks to sort through the information in order to make the right decision for you. Your physician will discuss the time frame and the Project H.E.R. nurse will help you understand your options. This includes the most accurate clinical information from books, qualified online sites and community programs. Through learning, you will regain a sense of control in your life and make informed decisions with your health care team.
Project H.E.R. provides survivor mentors who are uniquely qualified to offer insight to newly diagnosed breast-cancer patients. They are volunteers who serve patients free of charge throughout Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties. Project H.E.R. mentors help women find the right medical service providers, maneuver through the appropriate channels, and get the latest information.
The mentors are trained to provide much-needed support to breast-cancer patients. This peer support may be the most powerful therapy a woman with cancer initially receives.
Learn a more confident approach, proven to be more effective, for self-breast exam in the intimacy of a small-class setting.
Our MammaCare introductory class lasts 90 minutes and is taught by registered nurses who are certified Mammacare specialists. You can choose added individual sessions with a personal learning system loaner for home practice and a one-on-one follow-up appointment with one of the instructors. Donations help support Project H.E.R., suggested contributions for the intro class is $20; the more advanced individualized session is $35. Scholarships, sponsorships, and group classes are available.
Community awareness for breast-health risk education is available throughout the year at Education Day, Lunafest, OSU Pink Events, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and by appointment.
Project H.E.R. services are made possible through support and funding from The Corvallis Clinic and The Corvallis Clinic Foundation.
MammaCare is a method for breast self-examination (BSE) developed by a dedicated team of scientists. Their hope was that the lives of many of the 180,000 American women who develop breast cancer every year could be saved by teaching women precise techniques for self- examination. Just as a blind person reads the tiny dots of Braille, the program teaches a woman to palpate her breasts to detect lumps as small as 1/4” to 1/2”. (The average lump discovered by women not trained in BSE is 1 1/2”.)
Susan Merrill, B.S., RN, CCM and Kathy Nepper, RN, OCN of The Corvallis Clinic have completed all of the requirements to be certified MammaCare® instructors. In addition, Kathy Nepper serves as the breast-cancer nurse educator/navigator for The Corvallis Clinic. Susan Merrill currently is faculty at OHSU and provides clinical breast-exam training for healthcare providers. Both women are highly experienced in the areas of breast-cancer education, diagnosis, and treatment options.