Free asbestos screening refunded; grant awarded to CARD Clinic

By The Montanian

 

Senator Tester announced on Monday, July 22 that the Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD) will receive $2.5 million for ongoing asbestos related disease screening in Libby.

He said, “The CARD Clinic is saving lives by providing screenings for folks in and around Libby. This grant provides much needed funding to cover expensive x-rays and breathing tests, helping them make Lincoln County safer and healthier.”

The grant award, officially received by CARD on Tuesday, will continue to fund the clinic’s free asbestos health screening and lung cancer screening programs as well as associated outreach and education for the next five years, from September 1, 2019 until August 31, 2024. The first year’s budget of approximately $2.5 million was approved for grant year 2019-2020. According to CARD, it is anticipated that over 1,000 free asbestos health and lung cancer screenings will be conducted throughout the grant year.

Asbestos health screening consists of health, exposure, and respiratory symptoms questionnaires, a spirometry breathing test, a chest x-ray, an ANA blood test that was newly added this year, and a medical provider visit. In addition, a CT scan, fecal occult blood test, smoking cessation assistance, and a second medical provider visit may also be included as medically warranted. Local and national outreach and education for medical providers, healthcare professionals, individuals eligible for free screening, and those at risk for exposure to asbestos will also be funded by the grant. “Grant funds cannot be used for ongoing healthcare or for research,” said CARD in an email to The Montanian, “and whenever possible they are spent here in our community to support our local economy.”

CARD encourages anyone who spent at least six months in the Libby or Troy areas at least ten years ago to consider being screened. Screening is free for participants and available at the CARD Clinic or at a distance for those who are unable to travel to Libby. A one-page application and proof of presence in the area are required to participate. Contact CARD at 293-9274 or visit their website at www.libbyasbestos.org for more information.