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$1.5 Million Grant to Fund New Mobile Mammography Unit at St. Elizabeth

The St. Elizabeth Foundation was awarded a $1.5 million grant for a new mobile mammography unit to help rural populations in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.

The funds from from the Maxon Foundation. $1 million will purchase the van and screening technology, while the other $500,000 will fund maintenance.

The gift comes as St. Elizabeth celebrates the recent groundbreaking of its $140 million cancer center.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women — one in eight women will develop it over the course of her lifetime,” said Carri Chandler, St. Elizabeth Foundation vice president. “Our greatest defense is early detection. And with this generous gift from the Maxon Foundation, we can be right here for even more women, helping them fight cancer in the communities where they live and work.”

The van will bring screening services to predominantly rural and medically under-served regions where access to healthcare poses yet another challenge to women already disadvantaged by low income, multiple and conflicting responsibilities, and lack of exposure to preventive care and health education, a news release said.

The unit will offer digital mammography and tomosynthesis (3D mammograms) by appointment and on a walk-in basis – no doctor’s order needed – for women age 40 and older. In addition to facilitating screenings, staff on board will provide preventive health education, support and linkage to follow-up care when needed.

“Many of these women face significant barriers to obtaining healthcare – not just transportation issues, but cultural, financial and educational constraints,” said Madonna Vinicombe, St. Elizabeth’s mobile mammography program manager. “A lot of the women we screen have never even had a mammogram, even though they’re well past 40, the recommended age for annual screenings. This service is literally lifesaving for these vulnerable populations.”

The new addition to the mobile mammography fleet will be on the road by mid-2019, visiting businesses, local health departments, and other venues, such as schools, churches, grocery stores, and public events.

In the meantime, women can visit stelizabeth.com/mobilemammography or call 859.655.7400 to find out when the van currently in service will be at a location near them.

-Staff report
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