The motto displayed on University Hospital's mobile mammography van offers women a few words of wisdom.
"It says a mammogram can save your life, so that's really what our philosophy is," said Pam Anderson, program coordinator for the Breast Health Center at University Hospital.
The 41-foot-long mobile van has been providing breast health care services to women in the Augusta area since 2002. This is the third year that the van has traveled to Columbia County.
The mobile mammography unit will arrive at the Evans Health Department on Monday and will be parked at the Evans Government center next to Building D. The van will travel to the Evans Health Department every other month through December.
Anderson said the service is designed for all women more than 40 years old who need a convenient way to take a mammogram.
"When we first got this mobile, our thought process was that women did not take the time to have their mammogram," she said. "What we found over the years is that we just serve every kind of person."
Hospitals and doctors offices around the area offer mammograms, Anderson said, but women often have to take time off from work or away from their families for the procedure. Mammograms on the mobile van last about 15 minutes.
"I mean 55 percent of women in this area get a mammogram annually," Anderson said. "I believe that in this day and age, where women are working and busy, that we need to provide that service to them."
The mobile mammography unit tries to provide the service for as many locations in the area as possible, Anderson said. The van previously has made stops at the Augusta Mall, many Curves fitness centers, schools and grocery stores.
"I think it's done a great job in minimizing travel for people in Evans," said Phyllis Roland, the Columbia County Health Department's facility administrator. "I think it's a great asset to the community."
The $200 exam can be paid through insurance programs. The cost is free for any patient below 200 percent of the 2008 Federal Poverty Guidelines, which can be found at www.hhs.gov.
Anderson said that women interested in the service should schedule an appointment so their paperwork will be completed in time.
For more information, visit www.columbiacountyga.gov. Appointments can be made by calling (706) 868-3330.
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