WASHINGTON--The George Washington University Medical Center will soon be providing mobile mammog-raphy services in Washington, DC. Allan B. Weingold, MD, vice president for medical affairs, announced the project at the Fifth Annual Jo Oberstar Memorial Lecture, delivered by Tipper Gore, wife of Vice President Al Gore (see box below).
The first mammography van is scheduled to begin serving DC area neighborhoods and business districts by July, 1996. "This is further evidence of our commitment to improving access to health care for the citizens of the Washington metropolitan area," Dr. Weingold said.
The Cancer Research Foundation of America has provided a $400,000 grant to help support the project. Other sponsors and benefactors of the project include NationsBank (the lead sponsor), Black Entertainment Television, Bristol-Myers Squibb, The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, Merck & Co, Inc, Pfizer, Inc., and Zeneca Pharmaceuticals.
"Given that Washington, DC, has the highest breast cancer rate in the nation, I know the mobile mammography van will be a valuable public service in the years to come," said Carolyn Aldigé, president of the Cancer Research Foundation.
The mobile unit will bring service to communities of women who are currently underserved, Ms. Aldigé said in an interview with Oncology News International. An extensive education program is planned, she said, depending on the strength of peer-based recruitment. The resources of neighborhood public health clinics, churches, and other community organizations will provide community outreach. In some cases, the service will be provided free of charge.
The mobile unit can serve more than 30 women a day, making it possible for one van to serve 8,000 women a year. The van will be available in residential areas and in places where women work, during hours that will be convenient for them.