Michelle – Summit County, CO

Michelle, a public health nurse in Summit County, talks about education and prevention in health care.  She tells the story of a woman who died of cancer because she never had a pap smear, despite having several children.

“The general rule of a public health nurse, you act as a nurse but your patient is the whole community, the health of the community.”

This entry was posted in Health & Wellness, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 12 - Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties, Stories. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Posted at | Permalink

    Do you know the reasons why this woman did not get a pap smear? I assume it is the health system which does not foresee a pap test for women when they see a gynecologist. What should be done to change this? In Germany we have recommended check-ups for newborns and children from 0 to 14 years. If parents don’t go for these check-ups they will have a telephone call as a reminder. Not every parent is happy about this “interference”. So what do you think how cervical and breast cancer screening should be communicated to women?

    • sdmapes
      Posted at | Permalink

      Thanks for the comment, Anna! We don’t know the specifics of that woman’s story, but many Americans lack access to care. It could be because they are low-income, uninsured, live somewhere that doesn’t offer the health care they need, or just don’t know that it’s important. Millions of Americans go without important preventive care like pap smears, so this woman’s story is not unique. There are a lot of organizations and programs dedicated to communicating information about why screenings are important and where to get them, but we have a long way to go!

Post a Reply to sdmapes Cancel reply

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>