Second Coach Will Expand Outreach to nearly 9,000 Annually
Woman’s Hospital now has two mammography coaches to save lives across Louisiana. The coaches provide onsite mammograms to women at churches, workplaces, grocery stores, community centers and more.
More than 95 percent of breast cancer cases are treated successfully when detected early, and, according to the American Cancer Society, women ages 40 and over should receive annual mammograms. Both coaches feature 3D mammography technology, which assists in diagnosing cancer as early as possible; 3D mammography produces clear, precise images that allow doctors to pinpoint abnormalities with greater accuracy. Only 12 mammography coaches in the U.S. currently feature 3D technology.
We are proud to bring 3D mammography, the highest level of breast cancer detection technology, to women experiencing geographic, financial and cultural barriers to proper breast care by focusing on areas where mammography and diagnostic services are not readily available,” said Cynthia Rabalais, director of Imaging Services. “The overall goal of the program is to reduce Louisiana’s breast cancer mortality rate, which is the second highest in the nation, through early detection and intervention.
Woman’s began its mobile program in 1995 following a study that indicated women were not accessing screening mammography as they should. At the time, many parishes had no mammography providers. The program started with two vans containing mammography units that were taken into physicians’ offices, local health units and around the community. A larger vehicle was needed in 2005 to upgrade the service from film to digital technology, and Woman’s first mammography coach was built.
With the addition of a second coach, Woman’s is expected to increase the number of women served to nearly 9,000 annually. Services will expand to Iberia, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes for a total of 21 parishes.
Funding for the additional coach was made possible through generous support from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Hearst Foundations as well as sponsorships of the BUST Breast Cancer bra art fashion show and Woman’s Victory Open golf tournament.
Breast cancer affects women of all races, socioeconomic statuses and geographic areas, and the coach’s exterior design reflects the diverse women it will serve throughout Louisiana and supports healthy lifestyles. Mobile Specialty Vehicles in Jasper, Texas built the coach.
See mammography locations for the coaches’ schedule. »