Greene Care Clinic is bringing a mobile mammography van to Greene County Aug. 23 and Oct. 13 to provide convenient and accessible screenings for breast cancer to residents.
In a county where there is no mammography equipment, visits from the mobile mammography unit could provide breast cancer screening to dozens of women who might otherwise skip the examination.
“It’s easier, honestly, to talk yourself out of going to get a mammogram if you have to drive 45 minutes,” Pam Morris, executive director of the Greene Care Clinic, told The Daily Progress. “I think it’s the case in any rural community, that health care access is a real issue.”
“It is so convenient to have it be local and have it in a place where you feel comfortable going,” Morris continued.
Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital has committed to bringing its mammography van to Greene County two or three times a year, Morris said. Greene Care Clinic is already partnered with the University of Virginia Health System, which brought its mammography unit to Greene this past December and May and plans to continue doing so biannually.
The Sentara mammography van — a large vehicle with a doctor’s office-like interior — will be parked outside of the Greene County Office Building parking lot in Stanardsville on Aug. 23 and Oct. 13. Morris said she is expecting the appointment slots to fill up with anywhere from 14 to 18 women for the 20-minute screenings.
A portion of those appointments are from uninsured women, who work with the Greene Care Clinic to receive free mammograms through the Every Woman’s Life program, which provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings to low-income, uninsured women.
Greene Care Clinic provides free health care for uninsured individuals whose income is below 300% of the federal poverty level, while eligibility for Every Woman’s Life settles is at or below 250%.
“There are extra steps for uninsured women, there are extra steps they have to go through to get access to the appointment,” Morris said. “Access is one thing, but access in a place where you’re comfortable I think is kind of what’s important if we really want to get people to stay healthy.”
Morris has been promoting the mammography appointments by emailing information to organizations in the county, including public schools and the county administration, to share with their employees. She has also reached out to women she knows to share the events, relying on word of mouth as “the best thing” in a small county.
“We’re really thrilled about this,” Morris said.