Mobile Mammography Van Brings Services to Highland County
For women who find it difficult to find time to travel over the mountains for medical appointments from Highland County, there is a service that comes to Monterey that may help ease the burden. Tami Brown, manager of Mammography Services at Sentara RMH Funkhouser Women’s Center in Harrisonburg, Virginia, has more on a unique mobile van that provides mammography services closer to home.
Ms. Brown says, “We offer both 2D and 3D imaging on our mobile mammography van, and we go to several counties throughout the area. We, of course, accept insurance. The mammograms aren’t free. Bringing the unit to your area is free. Once the images are obtained on the van, we bring them back, download them, the radiologist reads them back here at SRMH, and then the results are sent to the provider within three to five days, and then the patient gets a lay letter in seven to ten business days, and if they should need any additional imaging, we take care of contacting their provider, of giving them the report, the radiologist recommendations, and then we call the patient, and we explain the results of the mammogram and the further testing that we need to do. It is extremely important for women over the age of forty to have a screening mammogram every year and to discuss with their provider what their provider recommends.”
Ms. Brown says that from January 1, 2018 through the end of November, there were about 2,700 exams on the mobile van in their service area, and that was with having nearly a month off in August when the van was temporarily out of commission. For Highland County in 2018, the van was set up at The Highland Medical Center.
“In Highland County this year, we went seven times. That’s about an average,” continues Ms. Brown. “We usually start there in April and then go until the end of November because of the weather. We average anywhere from seventeen to twenty-one patients each time we go. The maximum that we do is twenty-one. That’s the great thing about the mammography van: if you can’t come to us, we can come to you, somewhere closer to you than driving from Highland in, and that’s really how the mobile van got started is we wanted to provide a service to those who worked, you know, Monday through Friday, couldn’t get off work to come in for their screening mammogram. Particularly, it started with the poultry companies. We’ve grown leaps and bounds. We go to sixty-seven different locations, some of them multiple times throughout the year. Our van is usually booked pretty much a year in advance.”
And because of the busy schedule, walk-ins are rarely accepted, so it is highly recommended to schedule an appointment with the mobile mammography van by calling 540-689-6000. Organizations can also request to host the van at a different number. Ms. Brown concludes, “It is no charge to any organization who would like us to come, business, school, church. They would just call us and say that they have an interest in the mobile mammography van. A contact number is 540-689-6815, and that’s our coordinator for the mobile mammography services, and she will hook you up with dates, times, flyers, give you any assistance you need to make it a successful turnout.”
The van is scheduled to be back in Highland County once again in 2019 on April 17th, and Allegheny Mountain Radio plans to announce future service dates on our town crier.