Virginia Beach restaurant worker Cynthia Stinson was grateful 14 years ago when doctors told her that nodules in her breast were not cancer, and she’s equally grateful nowadays: Cynthia can follow her doctor’s orders to have regular mammograms, thanks to the Sentara digital mobile mammography van.
The van offers free mammograms at a nearby location.
“If it weren’t for Sentara, I wouldn’t be able to get them,” says Cynthia, who doesn’t have health insurance. “I am so blessed to be able to come to the Beach Health Clinic and have Sentara work with them.”
By bringing Sentara’s quality services directly to convenient locations, the van breaks down financial and logistical barriers to care. The mammography van serves over 70 sites in Hampton Roads.
A team effort to save lives
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. With Beach Health Clinic and the Sentara Ambulatory Care Center in Norfolk, the van provides more than 80 free screenings monthly with grant support and 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 quick images with high clarity that can be digitally transmitted to patients’ physicians for easy and timely 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 dense breasts.