Inspired by the example of the first Bon Secours Sisters who brought health care outside the walls of their convent – ours is a vision to bring the critically important breast health screenings to the uninsured, underinsured, in churches, community centers and workplace health fairs.
As part of the Breast Health Program, St. Francis has unveiled a new Mobile Mammography Coach that will travel to locations in Greenville and the surrounding counties—Anderson, Oconee and Pickens—to provide digital mammograms to thousands of Upstate women.
Funded 100% by philanthropy, the Mobile Mammography Coach will mirror the state-of-the-art diagnostic screenings and patient-centered care found at the fully accredited Pearlie Harris Center for Breast Health, which opened at ST. FRANCIS eastside less than one year ago. Bon Secours St. Francis employee fundraising campaigns over the last two years provided 41% of the total funding for the mobile unit as well as for the Pearlie Harris Center for Breast Health.
“‘Bon Secours’ means ‘Good Help,’ said Mark Nantz, CEO/Bon Secours St. Francis Health System. “Thanks to the generosity of our employees and community donors, this Mobile Mammography Coach will certainly be of ‘good help’ to the underserved women of Greenville and the surrounding area. It will not only give them unprecedented access to mammography services with the latest technology, but also provide comprehensive breast health education.”
In its first year of operation, more than 2,000 women are expected to visit the Bon Secours St. Francis Mobile Mammography Coach. Limited access to diagnostic services is among the main reasons that in South Carolina, when breast cancer is found, it is usually in the later stages.
According to Susan G. Komen for a Cure®, regular screenings are the best way for women to lower their risk of dying from cancer. Screening tests can find breast cancer early, when it’s most treatable. The digital mammography offered by the mobile coach is a more accurate screening tool for many women, especially those with dense breast tissue.
“This mobile unit allows us to take high-tech screenings and education beyond the walls of the hospital, extending the same compassionate patient care found at the Pearlie Harris Center for Breast Health,” said Rose Leo, VP for Women’s and Ancillary Services at ST. FRANCIS eastside. “Just as the 12 pioneering Sisters of Bon Secours broke tradition by going into patients’ homes to provide care, we are continuing our fight for the one in eight women in our community that will be diagnosed with breast cancer, no matter where they may live.”
The Bon Secours St. Francis Mobile Mammography coach is expected to be fully staffed and in operation by end of this year.