Bellin Health Unveils Mobile Mammography Unit
UPDATE: Due to an unforeseen scheduling change, Bellin Health will postpone its Mobile Mammography Unit dedication event, originally scheduled for Friday, Feb. 27. The vehicle will still make stops in Marinette, Oconto, Brillion, Algoma and Manitowoc during the week of March 2-6.
Bellin Health will hold a dedication and ribbon cutting for its new mobile mammography vehicle at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 27 at 725 S. Webster Ave., on the health system’s Green Bay campus.
“Northeast Wisconsin has a high incidence of breast cancer, when compared to other parts of the country. Part of the reason for this is that women in rural areas are screened less frequently and, therefore, are diagnosed at advanced stages of breast cancer. That is why Bellin is bringing mammography to them,” said Jody Wilmet, vice president of Oncology and Diagnostic Services. “The mobile mammography unit allows Bellin to travel to underserved areas throughout the region in an effort to make mammograms more accessible and improve rates of early detection of breast cancer.”
The mobile mammography unit, a large pink vehicle that resembles an RV, houses high-tech digital mammography equipment, along with bone densitometry equipment used to detect osteoporosis. The vehicle is staffed by two mammography technologists and a bone densitometry technologist.
The initial sites for the mobile mammography unit’s scheduled stops are Marinette, Oconto, Brillion, Algoma and Manitowoc, with plans to expand the service to other Bellin clinic locations based on need.
Bellin plans to perform more than 4,600 mammograms annually with the mobile unit. Individuals screened will be Bellin patients who schedule the exam with the local Bellin clinic during a time when the vehicle will be at that location. The goal is to have a mammogram in conjunction with an annual physical breast exam performed by a patient’s physician at that clinic location.
Once a mammogram is completed, images will be relayed from the vehicle to a radiologist based at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay for interpretation. A breast health nurse will contact the patient to inform her of the results, and the results will also be available for the patient’s physician to view in Bellin’s electronic medical records system.
“The goal is to bring the same level of technology and quality service provided at Bellin’s Green Bay facilities to the rural communities we serve,” said Wilmet.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 200,000 American women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Yet, due in part to improved screenings and treatment, the breast cancer death rate in this country decreased by 34 percent from 1990 through 2010.
Generous contributors to the mobile mammography unit include Associated Bank, Julie-Ann Kress, Jack and Inky Meng, and Diane Gerhard (owner of Lady Savannah, Homestead Decor and Grapevine Cafe).
NOTE TO THE MEDIA: The mobile mammography unit will be available for tours, b-roll and photos beginning at 10 a.m.
About Bellin Health
Bellin Health, www.bellin.org, is an integrated healthcare delivery system based in Green Bay, Wis. It has serviced people in Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula since 1908. Bellin Health has more than 3,500 employees and is known for its emphasis on preventive healthcare and is the region’s leader in cardiac, orthopedics, sports medicine, digestive health, mental health, and primary care medicine. It is comprised of Bellin Hospital, Bellin Psychiatric Center, 31 Bellin Health primary care physician clinics, and several retail health clinics known as Bellin Health FastCare. Bellin also operates Bellin Health Partners, a physician-hospital organization with more than 150 specialty physician members, Bellin Health Oconto Hospital, a critical care access hospital in Oconto, Bellin Fitness, and Bellin College. Through its Bellin-ThedaCare Healthcare Partners collaboration, the health system is also a participant in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Pioneer Accountable Care Program, generating $10.8 million in savings since 2012.