SPRINGFIELD – Today, Jan. 20, marks the one-year anniversary of the first patient screenings offered by Mercy Health – Springfield’s mobile mammography to women in the region. Those screenings took place at the Upper Valley Mall and Mercy Health diagnosed the first patient with breast cancer.
Mercy Health offers the only mobile mammography screening program in the region, and in 2017 the program completed 905 screening mammograms at 106 screening events in Clark, Champaign and surrounding counties.
The screening program confirmed 12 instances of breast cancer. Eighteen percent of the screenings were baseline screenings, which means the first mammogram for these patients. Approximately 11 percent of the screenings were no-cost screenings provided through grants from The Mercy Health Foundation – Clark and Champaign counties, Susan G. Komen – Columbus, Breast Friends Forever of Champaign County, The Young Woman’s Mission, Della Selsor Trust, Security National Bank, Springfield Foundation and Turner Foundation and generous donors, including the Shawnee High School girls soccer team, which held a successful fundraiser in support of the no-cost program.
The program’s impact is not lost on the community. Brenda LaBonte, general manager of the Upper Valley Mall, granted Mercy Health Mobile Mammography the opportunity to offer screenings at the mall several times. Mercy Health mobile mammography detected at least three breast cancers at the mall screenings.
“Early breast cancer detection is essential and we are passionate about our support of the Mercy Health mobile unit in offering women the opportunity to have a mammogram. While many women register in advance there are a number who do not. They see the unit while they are at the mall. It’s convenient, so they take the opportunity for a screening while they might not have otherwise received one,” said LaBonte. “We are happy to continue to offer a location for the mobile unit whenever it is needed.”
The screening program will visit the mall again from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 22.
Make appointments by calling 937-523-9332. Walk-ins are generally available, but not guaranteed. Be sure to bring a photo ID and insurance card.
Area employers have welcomed the unit, which provides their employees with easy and convenient access to an important health screening.
“Our partnership with Mercy Health’s Mobile Mammography unit has been an important aspect of Speedway’s Health and Wellness program,” said Speedway President Tony Kenney. “We care deeply about our employees and want to empower them in making their health a top priority. Providing this service to our employees helps demonstrate our commitment is not just in our words, but also in our actions. The mobile mammography unit visited two of our corporate office locations in 2017. Participating employees were able to obtain a screening in just 20 minutes. We look forward to continuing this program in 2018.”
To view future dates and locations, visit www.mercy.com/Springfieldmobilemammo.
Businesses and organization that want to have Mercy Health Mobile Mammography provide on-site screenings for employees and/or community can call 937-523-9330.
The American Cancer Society recommends that women can have a mammogram every year starting at age 40. Screening mammograms are usually a covered benefit with most insurance carriers.
Certified radiologists read all mammograms and, because a second look can mean a second chance, Mercy Health double-checks all mammograms with a computer-aided detection system that detects more breast cancer than mammography alone. Those screened and their physicians receive a copy of the results.
Financial assistance for every step of the process
Financial assistance programs are available to patients during screening, potential diagnosis and possible treatment. Find details at https://www.mercy.com/springfield/patients-and-visitors/financial-services/financial-assistance.
Financial assistance is generally determined by a sliding scale of total household income and the degree to which a patient is insured, if they are insured.
For the uninsured, there is a state program called Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP). See more details here: https://www.odh.ohio.gov/health/cancer/bccp/bcclinic.aspx
BCCP Medicaid may be available to women who:
· Have been screened for breast or cervical cancer through ODH (required)
· Are ages 40 to 65 years of age
· Are in need of treatment for breast and/or cervical cancer, including precancerous conditions (eligibility will end when the treatment is completed)
· Are uninsured (do not have health insurance which covers both inpatient and outpatient care)
· Are Ohio residents
· Are U.S. citizens or qualified aliens (verification of U.S. citizenship or alien status is required)
There are several local programs that can offer different aspects of support to women in need. The Breast Cancer Endowment Fund for Clark and Champaign County Residents and Breast Friends Forever of Champaign County are two organizations that exist to offer relief and support to anyone going through a breast cancer diagnosis or concern.
“Bottom line is that help is available and people should not let a fear of finances prevent them from taking the necessary action to care for themselves,” said Nanette Bentley, communications officer for Mercy Health.
Submitted by Mercy Health - Springfield.