DHSS and Gateway to Hope team up to address breast cancer concerns in Missouri

March 25, 2024

DHSS and Gateway to Hope team up to address breast cancer concerns in Missouri

The partnership will ensure that more women have access to affordable, quality, timely breast cancer screenings and treatment care – saving lives and impacting communities across the state

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Gateway to Hope, a homegrown nonprofit organization and breast cancer lifeline for low-income and underserved women in the state of Missouri, and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) are launching a new partnership to create better access to breast health care for Missourians. This new program, now available to Missourians living at or below 250% of the federal poverty level (or about $78,000 for a family of 4), will provide one-on-one support to individuals who need breast healthcare, including regular exams, mammograms, diagnostic care and treatment care.

In partnership with DHSS, Gateway to Hope provides free, trusted and localized outreach to individuals who need emotional support, logistical support to find the right health care providers, pre-appointment preparation, financial assistance and a number of resources to address their breast health. Importantly, Gateway to Hope’s staff connect more women to the state’s Show Me Healthy Women Program – a program designed to pay for the cost of breast and cervical health care for women who need the assistance.

“Gateway to Hope is proud to provide this increased level of services to women across our state. We understand health care can be challenging to navigate. Not only is it complicated and scary to think about, but making the time and finding the resources to prioritize our own health can feel impossible. We’re here to make sure that nobody has to choose between food on the table and life-saving health care. These services save women’s lives and give them a trusted friend to walk with them through the process,” says Gateway to Hope CEO Katie Manga.

One in every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and 6000 women will be diagnosed in Missouri this year. Up to 75% in some Missouri communities are diagnosed with late-stage cancer. The programs offered through DHSS and Gateway to Hope seek to change that with routine exams, mammograms and quality treatment to catch cancer sooner and increase the chances of survival.

“DHSS and the Show Me Healthy Women Program are here for Missouri women – to make sure life-saving care can be accessed and afforded. We know that too many women delay routine exams and mammograms because of fear and because of the inability to pay. Unfortunately, this results in hard-to-treat breast cancer diagnoses. With Show Me Healthy Women and this new partnership with Gateway to Hope, we are committed to reversing this trend,” says Kathy Sluyter, program manager for Show Me Healthy Women. “We hope Missouri women will put their health first and take care of one another by signing up to receive these free services. Whether you’ve had a dozen exams and mammograms or have never had one in your life and have no idea what to expect, this program is the perfect place to start.”

To sign up to receive information and to talk to someone about enrolling in this free program, Missouri citizens can visit www.mobreasthealth.org or call Gateway to Hope at (877) 484-4584 | (877) GTH-HLTH.

About Gateway to Hope

Gateway to Hope (GTH) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on removing barriers to healthcare for Missourians. This home-grown organization has served as a breast cancer lifeline for women in Missouri for over two decades. GTH provides expert emotional support, navigation and logistical support, and financial assistance to those who need it most. GTH believes no person should have to choose between putting food on the table and life-saving healthcare. Learn more at www.gthmo.org, www.mobreasthealth.org, Facebook, and Instagram.

About DHSS & Show Me Healthy Women

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is the state’s public health agency, focused on promoting health and safety through prevention, collaboration, education, innovation, and response. DHSS manages over 100 public health programs, including the Show Me Healthy Women (SMHW) Program – a federal and state partnership that provides free breast and cervical screening and diagnostic care for Missouri women who meet age, income, and insurance guidelines. The program’s goals are to increase the number of breast and cervical cancer screenings and decrease the number of preventable breast and cervical cancer deaths in Missouri. Learn more at