One of the things that sets The Breast Center at Floyd apart is that our staff has made a point of making every effort to ensure that quality breast health care is available to the women of northwest Georgia – even if it means making an extra special effort to accommodate our patients.
A few months ago, the Mobile Mammography Coach visited Marietta’s Tip Top Poultry for a 48-hour marathon breast screening. Our two mobile mammography technologists worked 16 hour days and spent the night at a local hotel to provide the most efficient care for this company. At the end of those two days, our staff had performed 100 mammograms, six of which revealed an abnormality.
The following week, our patient navigator and mobile coordinator returned to Marietta to talk to these women in person about their tests. Working with translators to overcome language barriers, our team met with each of the patients whose screenings indicated a need for further study to arrange follow-up appointments.
As they discussed the need for follow-up, it became increasingly apparent that these ladies faced several obstacles that would hinder follow through on the care they needed. All used some form of public transportation to get to work, and the language barriers made it difficult to insure that they understood their need for further medical care.
It was clear the financial cost of taking time off from work and securing transportation to a follow-up appointment were going to present a significant problem for these women.
That’s when they quickly formulated a Plan B. Within two hours a Floyd Security vehicle was dispatched to serve as a limousine, chauffeured by our Mobile Mammography Coach driver. Each lady was scheduled for an appointment at The Breast Center for their comprehensive breast exam, and their employer graciously agreed to pay them for their time away from work.
Over three days, each of these women was picked up from work, driven to Floyd for follow-up care and returned to work shortly after lunch time. The last patient, Rosie, was scheduled on her off day. So, our staff made arrangements to pick her up at the Wal-Mart in Cartersville at 6:30 a.m.
Rosie had given us a description of her van so that we could find her in the parking lot, but when Vicki arrived, she wasn’t there. Our chauffeur waited for a while, and then saw our patient walking across the parking lot. She apologized for being late and told our driver that she had underestimated how long it would take her to get to the store. She had started walking around 5 a.m.
We then learned the rest of her story. Our patient is homeless and lives in her van. She was afraid to drive herself all the way to Cartersville to meet her ride, for fear that she wouldn’t have enough gas to last until her next paycheck. So, she drove part of the way, parked her van and walked the rest of the distance.
Our driver immediately told her that she would have been more than happy to have driven anywhere to pick her up, and that we would gladly return her to her van that afternoon, but it was important to Rosie that she demonstrate that she was a woman of integrity. She had given us her word that she would meet us in Cartersville, so that was what she did. Rosie said she was so appreciative of what our staff already had done for her and her co-workers that she didn’t feel she could ask us to do anything more.
The Breast Center employee who drove Rosie to Rome shared her story with a few co-workers. While Rosie was receiving her follow-up care, The Breast Center staff took up a collection and purchased a $150 gas card for Rosie along with several care package items for her.
They also took her out to lunch before returning her to her van. Best of all, Rosie and all of her co-workers left The Breast Center with a clean bill of breast health and assurance that Floyd would return to their employer to follow-up with them in the future.
It has been nine years since we met Rosie, and Floyd continues to serve Tip Top employees through our Mobile Mammography services.