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Mobile mammo: driving early detection, literally

July 23, 2018
Mobile Imaging Women's Health
From the July 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

By Dr. Markus Holzhauer

After many years of discussion around what it would take to offer mammography to the many underserved women in our community, Windsong Radiology Group, PC (Windsong) is now, literally, driving early detection throughout the eight counties of Western New York. As a provider of mobile breast cancer screening, Windsong is eliminating barriers to breast cancer screening in communities with limited or no access to it.

This initiative was made possible by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Breast Cancer Screening Initiative. Windsong participated in the Request for Proposal and was one of 6 grantees in the “Get Screened, No Excuses” initiative, designed to meet more than 32,000 women in New York State. As a proud recipient of funding from this initiative, via the NYS Department of Health and Health Research Inc.’s (HRI) Mobile Mammography Van grant, Windsong now works collaboratively with churches, payors, community and healthcare partners to improve breast cancer screening rates in all eight counties encompassing Allegany, Erie, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Wyoming, Niagara, Orleans and Genesee. Windsong, long a leader in breast imaging, with four freestanding breast imaging facilities, now looks beyond its horizon to serve women that could not be reached by traditional brick and mortar locations.

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Getting here has not been easy. Over several months the Windsong mobile mammography coach team worked diligently selecting the van and equipment necessary to meet the standards of our Windsong brand. High quality and a superior patient experience have become synonymous with Windsong. Considerations were made thinking about long term goals. Subsequently, we selected a 45-foot tractor trailer to allow for a spacious interior and high-quality experience that could accommodate an exam room for provider clinical breast exams.

Bad weather in January 2018 delayed the delivery of the mobile mammography coach from Arizona. A decision to delay the official launch seemed appropriate given the long, snowy, and bitter cold winter we were having. Delaying our ribbon cutting event until April seemed a wise decision, yet it ended up being held on the windiest day of the year, with the tent that was to house our party completely destroyed by 60 mph gusts. Not a problem, however, as the venue moved the party indoors and over 80 staff, community partners, and representatives from our Amherst Chamber of Commerce helped us to celebrate our ability to remove barriers to access for the many underserved women in our community. A Facetime video of the ribbon cutting received considerable social media attention from our community. Radio and TV interviews streaming on social media continue to help promote the mobile coach.

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