FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Cumberland County Commissioners held an emergency meeting regarding the Health Department Monday afternoon.
During the meeting, they discussed the results of an investigation into the Cumberland County Health Department and its Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program or BCCP.
The county investigated to see if women who received abnormal test results for pap smears or breast exams were ever informed.
According to the county, all patients had been notified of their test results. Eight patients, they said, weren’t notified in a timely manner.
“I was glad to see that the number was low, but we clearly need to do a better job of notifying patients,” said Buck Wilson, Cumberland County Health Director.
That federal program is intended to help lower income women get potentially lifesaving screenings.
CBS North Carolina first broke this story back in May. Three nurses came forward and said women with abnormal pap smears and breast exams weren’t informed. It happened between 2010 and 2015.
They were angry that the health department hadn’t done more and were concerned for the women affected.
The county confirmed that there were problems. In September 2015, the program coordinator was fired.
The Department of Health and Human Services told CBS North Carolina that between July 2010 and June 2016, 851 women used it to obtain pap smears.
CBS North Carolina has obtained emails between the Cumberland County Health Department and DHHS. In them, DHHS called the issues with the BCCCP – “severe, multiple, all-encompassing, and overwhelming” deficiencies.
In the 2014 to 2015 report, DHHS found 385 BCCCP patients had deficient follow-up care.
“We are determined to make any wrongs right,” Charles Evans, a vice chairman of the board of commissioners said.
Evans said a change in leadership at the health department could be good.
The county announced it will shift its focus to other health department programs, reviewing those as well.