Baxter Regional reaches out with Mobile Mammography Unit
The Baxter Regional Medical Center is taking health care on the road with their Mobile Mammography Unit (MMU), which began traveling in January 2001. Since that time, program coordinator Bonnie Fischer said that the unit has performed more than 10,000 exams.
“Yearly mammograms can find problems as much as two years before you feel them,” Fischer said. “Early detection is key.”
Fischer said that the MMU was designed to give women in rural areas easier access to health care, as well as to provide a less time-consuming exam for working women. Each exam takes about 20 minutes and includes a free bone density exam – all for $100. Insurance companies may cover much of the cost, or women can apply for assistance through the Arkansas BreastCare program.
Host sites are selected throughout North Central Arkansas. Hosts provide a parking area and recruit and schedule women for exams. Businesses and industries often serve as host sites so that employees may take advantage of the MMU’s services.
“We reach women who wouldn’t be reached any other way,” Fischer said. “But, women will do it if it’s available, fast and inexpensive.”
Funding for the unit is provided by the hospital’s radiology budget, the BRMC Hospital Development Foundation Inc. and BRMC Auxiliary. The Arkansas Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation has awarded grants to the MMU for four consecutive years – a grant which totals more than $89,000 for 2006. Fischer said the grants cover maintenance, gasoline, t-shirts and some free mammograms.
The MMU is fully accredited by the American College of Radiology and certified by the Food and Drug Administration. Board certified radiologists interpret the films.
Mobile Mammography Unit
Baxter Regional Medical Center
Mountain Home, AR