Mobile Mammography Bus

New UTMB Mobile Mammography Unit Unveiled in Galveston

Thanks to a $1.4 million grant from the Moody Endowment, the University of Texas Medical Branch has a brand new, ultramodern, Mobile Mammography Unit that will enable women across the region to have access to screenings for Breast Cancer. 

The vehicle was unveiled at an event on 10/19/2018 in Galveston.

The debut was attended by Allan Matthews, Grants Director for the Moody Foundation and Grants Administrator for the Moody Endowment; Betsy Clardy, Vice President and Chief Development Officer at UTMB; Dr. Angelica Robinson, Director of Breast Imaging at UTMB; Dalael Wille, Breast Imaging Director at all UTMB campuses; and Suzanne Spudis, Assistant Director of Radiology at UTMB.

The new Mobile Mammography Vehicle comes with a state-of-the-art 3D mammography system. The grant also provides for four years of support for two Patient Navigators.

UTMB launched its Mobile Mammography Program in 1999 and has provided life-saving breast cancer screening for tens of thousands of women throughout Southeast Texas, including Galveston County and the Counties of Harris, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Jefferson Montgomery and Orange. Through vital partnerships with organizations like the Susan G. Komen Houston, Cancer Stop, The Ruth Kempner Endowment for Breast Cancer Screening, and Texas Breast and Cervical Cancer Services, the unit is able to provide mammograms to low-income, uninsured women.

The UTMB Mobile Mammography Program also includes a valuable patient navigation service. Many patients struggle to overcome obstacles to care such as lack of insurance and transportation, and literacy levels.

Navigators assist the patient in the coordination of all diagnostic follow-up, including appointments. If cancer is detected, the navigator steps in to locate a funding source for treatment, and guides the patient through all aspects of her cancer care. 

The Mobile Mammography Program is a component of UTMB Health’s Breast Imaging Center. The center is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, a program administered by the American College of Surgeons. The Breast Imaging Program at UTMB Health has also been designated a “Center of Excellence” by the American College of Radiology. UTMB was one of the initial two programs in the Houston area to receive this prestigious honor, and one of the first in Texas to receive the designation.

According to Betsy Clardy, the university and the Moody Endowment have worked long and hard to make the project possible. She explained that the vehicle will be driven to locations in the region that can be accessed, round-trip, in one day. The mobile facility can be set up in moments, in such locations as mall parking lots, where dozens of scans can be made at each stop. The unit also works with area churches as part of the “Sunday Screening Mammogram Program” outreach effort. 

Dr. Angelica Robinson said that, in addition to the latest advancements in radiological technology, the vehicle also has an aesthetic component to help women be more relaxed during the procedures. This includes recorded sounds of nature, aromatherapy, and two TV screens showing calming nature scenes.

While the previous mobile mammography unit is experiencing considerable down time related to the age of the unit and corresponding maintenance needs, it will be kept in use as a backup unit.

News Source: I-45 Now

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