Who Are We Wednesdays- Erin Yaworski
SALISBURY TOWNSHIP - Oprah Winfrey once said, "I believe there's a calling for all of us. I know that every human being has value and purpose. The real work of our lives is to become aware. And awakened. To answer the call.” Erin Yaworski admits her calling was awakened after a series of adversarial moments.
Yaworski grew up in Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County. She graduated from Cheltenham High School before attending Kings College in Wilkes-Barre where she earned a degree in communications. During her professional career, Yaworski has held several jobs from customer service to Marketing Director. Yet, she says it was not until she was laid off three years ago did she stumble upon a life-defining opportunity.
After leaving her previous position, Yaworski says she applied to countless jobs. So many she cannot remember them all. One though she will never be able to forget: Program Coordinator at Lehigh Valley Health Network.
"I live across the street from LVHN (Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest) and I applied there because I thought it would be a nice commute," Yaworski says lightly.
It turns out the job had more perks than Yaworski had originally known. You see, Erin's family has had a "nasty history" when it comes to cancer. Two of her aunt's on her father's side along with her mom's best friend and her husband have all had to deal with the disease. So when Yaworski was asked to run a pilot Mobile Mammography program she ran with it.
"I knew this is what I needed to be doing," Erin says. "This is what I have been waiting for."
Yaworski coordinates logistics for the bright pink 3-D Mobile Mammography Coach, which provides a convenient way for you to receive a 3D screening mammogram, according to LVHN's website. On average, it takes less than 15 minutes and Yaworski says that is the point.
"We are breaking down barriers and eliminating excuses for women who do not get the proper care they need when they are supposed to," she says.
Yaworski says you do not have to be a patient at LVHN to get a screening but you do need to be at least 40-years-old and cannot have had a mammogram within the last year. The American College of Radiology recommends women start screening mammography at age 40 and continue screenings each year.
“When we talk about cancer, everyone knows about breast cancer and everyone knows someone who has had it. But for those that may not be intimately affected by it, spreading awareness and knowledge and education about when you should start getting a mammogram, it gives me a purpose," Yaworski says.
Every Ribbon Counts has recognized the work Yaworski has done at LVHN. That is why this year, the non-profit provided her program with a $1000 donation following ERC's 'Knockout Challenge.' Erin says the money has gone towards educational materials for inner-city and rural populations to get info about breast cancer screenings.
“(The donation) was amazing. When she (ERC Co-Founder, Abby Silfies) told me about the challenge and told me Dennis (Hower, ERC board member) had some extra money, I was just blown away," says Erin. "It doesn’t come along every day so I was appreciative to receive that.”
Yaworski says her goal is to enhance all preventative measures so others do not have to go through the horrible experience of having breast cancer let alone any kind. Eventually, she says her dream is to rid the world of the disease.
"But until that dream is a reality, we have to figure out how to provide the best care so it doesn’t get to a point where it’s too late," she says.
To learn more about LVHN's Mobile Mammography Program, go to LVHN.org/mammo.