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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma City Indian Clinic received a large sum of money to bolster its battle against breast cancer.

The Indian Clinic was awarded a two-year, $100,000 grant from the American Cancer Society, according to a Cancer Society news release.

The grant will go toward expanding access to high-quality breast cancer screenings and timely follow-up care for American Indian and Alaska Native women.

The clinic has relied on community partnerships over the past 25 years to provide those services, the news release states.

The grant is one of five given across the country. It was made possible through the Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) Program.

Officials say the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic strives to provide life-sustaining breast cancer screenings and prevention services to Native Americans.

“For over 25 years, Oklahoma City Indian Clinic has relied on community partnerships to provide these services,” said Ashton Gatewood, Director of Grants Management. “However, the need is so great that many patients were still left without access to essential care. This partnership with the American Cancer Society ACS CHANGE program brings our vision into reality. The clinic will now be able to launch an in-house Mammogram Clinic, which will increase access and quality, decrease cost of care, and fulfill our mission to provide excellent breast care services in the American Indian community for central Oklahoma.”

An average of one in eight American Indian and Alaska Native women are diagnosed with breast cancer, according to Gatewood.

“More American Indians die from their breast cancer diagnosis than any other ethnicity,” Gatewood said. “These women are grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters and daughters. Oklahoma City Indian Clinic is privileged to partner with the ACS CHANGE program to honor and respect Native traditions by taking care of the community.”