Wyoming Women First: Mammovan to visit Dubois Oct. 8-12 for mammography screenings

The mobile mammography van is equipped with a full-field digital mammography system designed to be a flexible screening unit.

(Dubois, Wyo.) – Wyoming First Lady Carol Mead and GE will bring a mobile breast cancer screening unit– a “mammovan”– to Dubois next week.
The van is part of the Wyoming Women First Program, a collaboration among GE, the State of Wyoming and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which works to increase access to mammography screenings in one of the most rural states in the United States.
The mammovan is a fully functional, complete mammography screening unit, which allows women the same level of medical service and privacy they would experience in a hospital.
The van will be in Dubois for an entire week, Oct. 8-12. On Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 8 and 9, the mammovan will be at the Dubois Medical Clinic. On Wednesday, Oct. 10, the First Lady will read to children at the Dubois Library from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. to allow mothers time to be screened. Screening will continue to take place on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 11 and 12, at the Dubois Medical Clinic.
Screenings are by appointment only and can be scheduled online at www.wywomenfirst.com or by calling 1-855-WY-MAMMO.
The mobile mammography van will be equipped with GE Healthcare’s Senographe Essential technology, a full-field digital mammography system designed to be a flexible screening unit.
Examinations take approximately 30 minutes. Women are reminded to not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under their arms or on their breast the day of the screening. All jewelry from neck and chest area must also be removed.
Scans will be read by New Frontier Imaging out of Rock Springs, not at the mammovan.
Funding is available so all women have access to this important service. To apply, call 1-855-WY-MAMMO.

The Mammovan

The van, which began it’s year-long Wyoming journey in Mountain View and Bridger Valley at the end of August, will travel throughout the entire state. The van will attempt to visit as many rural towns in the state as possible. Anyone interested in having the van visit their community can contact the number above. The van does plan to canvas the entire state and return visits are a possibility, especially where demand is high.

According to the Wyoming Department of Health, the average distance to a mammography screening facility in Wyoming is 70 miles. The 2010 Center of Disease Control study analyzing breast cancer screening rates found the overall screening rate for Wyoming women 40 and older is 67.3 percent, compared to the United States median rate of 75.6 percent. Wyoming breast screening rates rank among the lowest in the United States at 48th place.
“The First Lady and I commend GE and its partners for bringing mammography screenings directly to the women of our state,” Governor Matt Mead said. “We believe that innovative ideas and technologies, like the mammography van, are excellent ways to increase access to preventative healthcare. The van will also raise awareness about the importance of screenings.”
In an effort to encourage a goal for improvement in screening in Wyoming long-term, GE donated $1.5 million to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. In collaboration with GE, Susan G. Komen selected two nonprofit grantees in Wyoming–?Wyoming Foundation for Cancer Care and The Caring For Women Foundation of Wyoming– to assist with breast navigation, screening fee and diagnostic coverage for under-insured and uninsured women. The breast navigator is available to offer voucher information and applications, assist women with finding a provider for further diagnostics, and to answer any breast health questions or concerns.
This grant is in addition to the more than $2.5 million spent by Komen’s Wyoming Affiliate since 1996 to support critical programs that meet breast cancer needs for women across the state.
Lynn Erdman, Komen’s national vice president of community health said, “One of the major barriers to screening is access– physical access– which will be addressed with the mammovan, and financial access. Our grants are designed to remove the cost barrier for uninsured women.”
Combining efforts by statewide healthcare screening facilities, the GE Mammovan and Komen’s grant program, WY Women First aims to screen 15,000 women over the age of 40 in Wyoming by August 2013.