A brand new 33’ Winnebago commercial freightliner will soon be making its way through the winding roads of the River Valley offering quick, convenient mammograms to patients who would otherwise have to travel quite a distance for them. Each year an average of 1,600 women are screened in Mercy’s mobile mammography unit as it travels through Sebastian, Crawford, Franklin, Logan, Yell, Scott and Polk counties.
The previous van, a 1999 Winnebago recreational vehicle, was on its last leg and had become prone to frequent breakdowns. In 2010, Mercy set out to raise the $280,000 needed to replace the van. Funds donated by Arvest bank, the Walker Foundation and the St. Edward Mercy auxiliary helped to offset the cost.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for women to get their yearly mammograms”, says Michelle Bonds, Manager of Mammography at St. Edward Mercy, “We know that early detection saves lives and offering this service can help women catch breast cancer in its earliest stages when it’s most treatable.”
The mobile mammogram unit offers the same quality imaging you would get from coming to the hospital for your screening. St. Edward Mercy has been offering mobile mammogram services to the region for the last 22 years.
Arvest Bank is also partnering with Mercy to host the mammogram van at their bank branch locations throughout the region.
St. Edward Mercy Health System employs more than 2,100 people. It includes the 365-bed St. Edward Mercy Medical Center, critical access hospitals in Paris, Waldron and Ozark as well Mercy Clinic with more than 85 providers and 10 locations across the River Valley. Effective April 30, St. Edward Mercy will become Mercy Fort Smith. St. Edward Mercy is part of Mercy of St.Louis, Mo. – the nation’s eighth largest Catholic health care organization.