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Mission in Motion




You may have seen it, parked beside it or even read the side, but do you know what goes on inside the giant pink and white bus and how you can utilize its services? Lori Ward, Practice Manager of the St. Thomas Medical Partners Mobile Mammography Unit, took the time to fill us in on its purpose and mission. Who knew that cancer prevention could be so easy and convenient?

Our Mission in Motion is an effort by Saint Thomas Health and is supported through grants from Susan G. Komen Greater Nashville. This program has provided Middle Tennessee with the first Mobile Mammography Coach.

The coach provides mammography for underserved populations in 16 Middle Tennessee counties. The lack of mammography services in these areas and the uninsured or underinsured populations account for higher instances of non-compliance in screening mammography and higher death rates from Breast Cancer and late stage detection. Lori tell us, “The mobile mammography unit is equipped with state-of-the-art Hologic digital mammography equipment and technology.” A screening mammogram is a low dose x-ray of a woman’s breasts and takes about 15 minutes to complete.

The screening mammogram is performed by a mammography certified radiology technologist. The x-rays are interpreted by physicians who are Board Certified by the American College of Radiology and specialize in breast imaging. In most cases, the results of the mammogram are available to the patient within 72 hours.

Need has also been established for insured populations of women who cannot afford the time away from work for appropriate screenings. The mobile coach will work with corporations to provide on-site screening for these women - reducing the time from three hours (including drive-time) to approximately 15 minutes. To address the need in the community and in the workplace, mobile mammography stops are scheduled at the STMP Saint Louise Clinic, STMP Family Health Center Eagleville, FirstBank, Rutherford County Schools, and employers such as Ingram Content and Schwan Cosmetics.

The mobile mammography unit is very flexible and is often also utilized at clinics and community health events such as county health departments, schools, churches, employee health fairs, and Saint Thomas Health Medical Missions at Home. When the unit is at a clinic, patients can make an appointment through their provider. Community events are open to the public and are first-come, first served. The Our Mission In Motion community event schedule can be found at www.saintthomasdoctors.com/mobilemammography.

It is the hope of Saint Thomas Health and Susan G. Komen to improve the compliance rates for screening mammography, thus decreasing the late stage detections of Breast Cancer for all women in Middle Tennessee. Lori says, “Our greatest success story is the program itself. Our Mission in Motion, since 2011, has provided over 17,000 screening mammograms, 40% of them to uninsured women. Our Mission in Motion has diagnosed 59 breast cancers and traveled to 240 locations.”

They also judge their success by the numbers of women that have said, “Thank you so much for what you do. I do not know how I would have this test otherwise.” Many women, some with tears, have shared their stories of how they were touched by breast cancer in some way.

You, too, can play an active role in your healthcare and prevention of cancer by visiting the Mission in Motion coach. It’s as easy as stopping by when you see it out in town!

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