WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Ascension Via Christi has purchased a customized mobile mammography vehicle that will help improve accessibility to 3D breast imaging screen exams.

The vehicle is expected to be received this summer and will be taken to worksites and
other Wichita, Manhattan, and Pittsburg area community sites.

“We are expecting delivery of our unit sometime in June and plan to be on the road soon after,” said Dave Degenhardt, director of Radiology for Ascension Via Christi in Wichita.

The vehicle is 41 feet by 8.5 feet and will feature a registration area, two self-contained private dressing rooms and an exam space, providing ample room for the registrar and mammography tech who will staff it and the patients it will serve.

Ascension Via Christi says the goal of the mammography vehicle is to increase participation in annual breast cancer screening exams by making them more convenient and accessible and, in doing so, save lives through early detection and treatment.

“Early detection through regular screening is the key to better outcomes,” says Keisha Humphries, Ascension Via Christi’s director of Oncology Services. “But research has established that women may put theirs off because of scheduling, convenience or transportation. This will give them another option.”

Seven in 10 Kansas women ages 40 and over have had a mammogram within the past two years. One in eight U.S. women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.

Ascension Via Christi shares that the national Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends addressing non-economic burdens and obstacles to breast cancer screening by reducing the time or distance between service delivery settings and target populations; modifying hours of service to meet client needs; and offering services in alternative or non-clinical settings such as mobile mammography vans at worksites or in residential communities.

“We will be employing all three of these recommendations with the addition of mobile mammography,” says Degenhardt.

The task force also recommends eliminating or simplifying administrative procedures and other
obstacles through scheduling assistance and patient navigators, according to Ascension Via Christi.

“We already have that in place with our Oncology nurse navigators, who play a key role in helping cancer patients access the resources they need at all stages of their journey, from screening to diagnosis to treatment to survivorship,” says Humphries.