The mobile unit is available for scheduling at community health events, businesses, churches, civic groups and primary care physician offices. In addition to mammography, the unit can also do bone density screenings to detect osteoporosis.
“Tanner’s Mammography on the Move unit is fully accredited, spacious and designed to ensure comfort and privacy,” said Venita Steed, program manager for Tanner Breast Health. “It makes mammography convenient and accessible to the community. We have a really large service area, and while we have three breast centers, this now gives us an opportunity to take the service to women rather than them coming to us.”
She said just like the breast centers, the mobile unit staff will accept most major insurance and the unit is staffed by an all-female crew, “the same caring Tanner Breast Health professionals that women know and trust.”
Steed said the unit is about 40 feet long, includes its own generator to supply power for the equipment and climate control and a leveling system to ensure a steady experience for patients.
“We know that mammography saves lives and every woman in our region should have access to an annual screening mammogram,” said Loy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner Health System. “The earlier breast cancer is detected, the more effectively we can treat it. Tanner has worked to make screenings faster and easier with three regional digital mammography centers—Tanner Breast Health in Carrollton and Villa Rica and the diagnostic imaging department at Higgins General Hospital in Bremen. Tanner Medical Foundation has raised funds to provide mammograms and other care to women who couldn’t otherwise afford them. Now, we’re going to bring digital mammography to the outlying parts of our service area, to the places where mammography has not been available.”
Tanner Medical Foundation provided the funds to purchase the mobile unit, according to Denise Taylor, chief community health strategy and brand officer for Tanner Health System.
“The Foundation offers several funds for the community to support in the battle against breast cancer in the region, including Tanner’s Mammogram Assistance Fund, which provides the life-saving mammogram screening to area women who cannot otherwise afford it,” Taylor said. “The Bikers Battling Breast Cancer Fund helps Tanner breast cancer patients with CT scans, ultrasounds and other critical testing. Tanner’s Cancer Patients Assistance Fund provides assistance with medication, transportation and other assistance cancer patients need to manage their cancer care.
“The goal is to remove barriers preventing women from getting mammograms,” Taylor said. “Mammography on the Move will reach women throughout the region who do without mammograms because they lack time, awareness or access. This is powerful, since one-in-eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives and catching it early makes all the difference. Mammography on the Move reflects Tanner Health System’s view that every woman counts.”
Steed said the same radiologists who read mammograms at the breast centers will read the mobile images.
“When we return from the event, we download the images to a laptop and put them on the hospital system for our radiologists to read,” she said. “Women are notified of the results the same as if they had a mammogram at any of our locations. They get a results letter in the mail during the normal time frame. If we detect an issue, the person will be contacted by a staff nurse for further follow up.”
More information on scheduling Tanner’s Mammography on the Move mobile mammography unit, is available by calling Tanner Breast Health in Carrollton, 770-836-9531. More information on breast care services at Tanner is available online at www.TannerBreastHealth.org.