Norfolk, Va. (Sept 29, 2010) After Virginia Beach restaurant worker Cynthia Stinson had a breast cancer scare 10 years ago, she’s had to have frequent mammograms to make sure that her health is not in jeopardy.
Even though the nodules that were removed turned out not to be malignant, doctors want her to get checked regularly. Sentara Healthcare’s new, all-digital mobile mammography van’s monthly visits at Beach Health Clinic make that possible.
“If it weren’t for Sentara, I wouldn’t be able to get them,” says Stinson, who doesn’t have health insurance. “I am so blessed to be able to come here.”
By bringing Sentara’s high quality services directly to convenient locations—at employer locations and clinics—the van breaks down financial, and logistical barriers to care and makes mammograms more accessible to those less likely to obtain one. In all over 70 sites across Hampton Roads will be served by the new mammography van.
The auxiliaries at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Sentara Leigh Hospital and Sentara CarePlex Hospital contributed to the purchase of the van, which was put into operation in July 2010 to replace an older van.
In conjunction with Beach Health Clinic and the Sentara Ambulatory Care Center in Norfolk, the van provides more than 80 free screenings monthly through grant support or through the Center for Disease Control’s Every Woman’s Life Initiative.
The van is designed for convenience and comfort with two private dressing areas. “It’s really very nice – like a big hotel room inside,” Stinson says.
Digital technology provides quicker images with higher clarity that can be digitally transmitted to patients’ physicians for easier and timelier diagnosis. Digital mammography is proven to be a better screening tool for breast cancer, especially in women who are under age 50, or women of any age with very dense breasts.
Images from the mobile van are read by the same radiologists who read mammograms at the Sentara Leigh Comprehensive Breast Center. This is the third mobile mammography van offered by Sentara since 1988. The 38-foot fully equipped unit represents a $652,000-investment in women’s health in Hampton Roads.
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Sentara Mammography Locations
Sentara Health Minute: Learn About Breast Health