Cancer clinic levy approved

LISBON — As they have done for the past 40 years, the voters within the Columbiana County General Health District had no qualms about supporting the .2 mill levy, which helps to support the Cancer Clinic.

The 10-year levy was approved by more than 60 percent of the 18,583 voters who cast a ballot on the issue. The levy costs the owner of a $100,000 property about $5 per year.

“Of all the things on the ballot this November, this is the one that saves lives,” Health Commissioner Wesley Vins had said recently.

The levy generates $237,500 annually and is one of the main funding sources for the clinic, which offers free cancer screenings such as digital mammograms, pap tests, pelvic exams, prostate tests, skin cancer screenings and lung cancer screenings. It is often a way for those without insurance to get a needed test. If someone receives a positive diagnosis, the cancer clinc also has resources to help those without insurance or contacts, to find doctors and assistance they need while undergoing additional tests and treatments.

Vins said the cancer clinic began in 1965 and was at first supported by the state. However, when the state stopped financial support in 1976, the board of health picked up the cost for about three years. Unable to sustain it from their funds alone, the board of health went to the voters to ask for the levy in 1979 and it passed.

Since 1980, the levy has been a major supporter of the program, along with donations from the community and grants.