OGDEN -- Alberta Benitez has made it a priority to attend the Women's Health Connection for the past several years because she believes it's important for all women to take good care of their health.
The Ogden resident was one of hundreds of women seen Monday at Midtown Community Health Center, 2240 Adams Ave. The clinic includes a dental exam, Pap smear, breast exam, and screening for depression and sexually transmitted diseases.
The Health Connection will continue today, with still a few openings for walk-ins. Only uninsured women will be seen.
"I think it's very important to be here," Benitez said through translator Karla Maquin. "I recommend it for all women. They need to come and get checked out."
During her exam, doctors discovered two breast lumps, Benitez said. She was given a voucher for a mammogram so doctors could make an official diagnosis of her condition.
The Women's Health Connection is now in its eighth year, said Lisa Nichols, executive director at Midtown Community Health Center.
The Junior League of Ogden, McKay-Dee Hospital and Midtown sponsor the event for low-income women.
In the first two hours, more than 100 women had checked in to be examined, said Sally Jones, community projects coordinator at McKay-Dee Hospital.
"We've had some breast lumps, tons and tons of dental issues, and one woman who will need a biopsy on the inside of her mouth so far," Jones said.
"Our goal is to see 500 women during the two-day event, and we make sure we follow up with all of the women."
Dr. Robert Bingham, a dentist at Midtown Community Health Center, said he had seen quite a few cavities and sore spots inside the mouth.
"We've mainly done a lot of cleanings today," he said. "There have been women here who have never had a cleaning or have had very few during their lives."
Bingham said it's important to have a dental checkup every six months. Bacteria from the mouth can travel to other parts of the body and cause many other health problems, including heart disease and stroke.
Dr. Laura Knudson, a family physician at the clinic, said she had seen some patients she suspects are depressed.
"It's really important for women to have a regular health exam, and if they are under 30, they need a Pap smear every two years. Over 30, they need one every three years," she said.
At the age of 40, women should begin getting an annual mammogram, Knudson said.
"This is a very good thing they are doing for us," Maria Hernandez said through translator Christopher Shenefelt. "We need to take care of ourselves as much as we can."
Knudson said the clinic is very valuable to both the community and the clinic.
"I feel like it's a very valuable gift to them as well as to us," she said.
"It gives us a chance to give back to the community and take care of these women who don't have a lot of resources out there."