Monday, May 18, 2015

Pink bus makes mammograms and bone-density tests more accessible for women in rural Wisconsin

A partnership between Bellin Health Care and a Wisconsin bank resulted in a new approach to women's healthcare in northeastern Wisconsin: a pink bus that is the first mobile mammography and bone-density test unit, Shelby Le Duc writes for the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Photo by Jim Matthews/Press-Gazette Media

"We realized this higher incidence of cancer was caused by poor access to regular screening or mammography," said George Kerwin, president and CEO of Bellin Health. The bus will "improve mammography access to rural communities and as a result improve the health of this population." The project is supported by Associated Bank.

Bellin Health recommends that women "have a yearly mammogram starting at age 40, unless a patient has a family history of breast cancer, in which case screenings should begin earlier," Le Duc writes. "Bone density tests should be performed every two years for women over 50 to detect signs of osteoporosis.

The bus has the same hi-tech equipment utilized at Bellin Hospital. Since February, the bus staff has completed 910 mammographs and 170 bone density tests. The equipment and staff can reach communities where local clinics do not provide those services. Heather Hassemer, a registered mammographer and X-ray technician said, "I can't tell you how many times a day we hear how nice it is that we are reaching out and coming to the patients instead of them having to drive out to Green Bay." (Read more)

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