The Breast Center at Floyd’s Mobile Mammography Coach is a 40-foot long pink and green medical clinic on wheels. The striking outside appearance of the coach proclaims a message of breast health and awareness to the communities it serves.
Inside this rolling mammography coach, specially trained technologists perform mam-mograms with the same clinical quality and attention to detail that a patient receives from The Breast Center at Floyd. The vehicle includes a small, comfortable waiting area and state-of-the-art digital mammography equipment.
Since it first hit the road in 2008, the coach has traveled over 85,000 miles. Staff mem-bers have performed more than 23,000 mammograms and have detected more than 100 breast cancers.
“We knew we needed a strategy to reach women who could not come to us,” said Aimee Griffin, Director of The Breast Center at Floyd. “We knew that many women in our community simply could not afford to take time away from work, and many others did not have access to transportation to get to and from an appointment more than five to 10 miles away. We knew we needed a way to take this life-saving screening to them.”
Over the last 10 years, Floyd’s Mobile Mammography Coach has worked with over 160 locations across northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama to serve women at their place of work, their place of worship, or their local health care provider’s office. Most of those locations are repeated at least once or twice each year, and others are served monthly.
“The community embraced us from the beginning. We were invited to so many wonder-ful locations by company owners, human resources managers and school principals. So many community leaders see this opportunity and want to provide this service for the women who are important to them,” said Griffin.
With an eye on the future, the coach will soon receive equipment upgrades. “The cur-rent digital equipment has served us well, but there is newer technology available, and we are pleased to be in the planning stages to upgrade the mobile coach to 3D screen-ing technology this winter,” Griffin said. “We have seen the impact of 3D technology in-side The Breast Center at Floyd, and we know this will improve the effectiveness of mobile screening for many women, especially those with dense breast tissue.”
3D mammography takes multiple images of breast tissue from many different angles with the X-ray equipment moving in an arc across the breast. These images are then digitally synthesized to create three-dimensional images. Adding this third dimension gives radiologists the opportunity to better see cancers that hide behind dense breast tissue and to give them a better view of all breast tissue.
Floyd Healthcare Foundation will work with The Breast Center at Floyd to raise the $500,000 needed to cover the cost of the equipment and other upgrades to the coach. Equipment upgrades include 3D mammography equipment and a new generator, and will take approximately three months.
Floyd employees have pledged to raise $270,000 of the needed funds. “The remaining amount will be raised through corporate sponsors who have supported the Mobile Mammography Coach in the past, business and industries where the coach visits, and the support of individuals in the community,” said Lauren Adams, Director of the Floyd Healthcare Foundation. Floyd Healthcare Foundation is the fundraising and friend-raising arm of the Floyd Health System, existing to provide support for the hospitals and service to the communities through communication, education and philanthropy.