ATHENS — OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital has launched its new mobile mammography service, following the completion of a $1.3 million fundraising campaign and a four month process to design and fabricate the mobile unit.
The OhioHealth mobile mammography program will be the first Athens County-based program providing accessible, advanced screening mammography in underserved areas in the region. The program is expected to screen over 1,500 patients in the first year, with services to cover a multi-county region of Appalachian Ohio. The unit is anticipated to expand into neighboring counties in future years.
The mobile unit began providing services two days a week at the OhioHealth Nelsonville Health Center in early September. The unit will go on the road to provide services to regional employers and community partners beginning November 1.
On Friday, the unit made its first off-site visit in Meigs County, seeing patients in Racine. Screenings were scheduled for 13 patients during the first visit, with return trips already planned to take place in January and March. Screenings take approximately 20 minutes per patient.
Collaboration with local and regional partners was critical to the development of the program. Philanthropy accounted for $1.3 million of the overall project budget of $1.7 million. On October 5, OhioHealth will honor philanthropic partners and community supporters of the mobile mammography project at a special kickoff event.
“We are grateful to our partners for their generous support of this project, which we believe will improve access to care and decrease late-stage diagnosis and death rates for residents in southeast Ohio,” said Karen Morrison, president of the OhioHealth Foundation. “We are humbled to celebrate the launch of this program with members of the communities we serve.”
Major funders of the program include:
- American Electric Power Foundation ($650,000)
- Ohio Governor’s Office of Appalachia ($250,000)
- Susan G. Komen Columbus ($200,000)
- Charles G. O’Bleness Foundation ($100,000)
- Peoples Bank Foundation, Inc. ($25,000)
- Mark and Kathy Seckinger ($25,000)
- OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital Charity Golf Tournament ($20,000)
“Offering mammography screenings where women live and work is critically important—screening improves breast cancer outcomes and saves lives,” said Mark Seckinger, president of OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital in a news release. “We’re so proud to offer this service to the women in our region.”
The mobile unit will travel to major community events in the region to enhance awareness about the availability of screening mammograms.
In addition to the scheduling of appointments at the Nelsonville base site and the trips to Racine, the mobile unit can be scheduled to come to other locations.
To schedule appointments, call 740-592-9454. Organization, business or group leaders who would like to schedule to unit to come to their location may call 740-566-4539.