A mobile mammogram van is currently visiting communities in the KRBD listening area. Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium and Bartlett Regional Hospital have teamed up to provide medical services to women. Susan Suarez is with SEARHC.
“A lot of these services are not provided in Metlakatla or on Prince of Wales Island. The SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program has teamed up with Bartlett, and they have a van that provides mammograms for women. So the van travels around all through Southeast, and we have it at Craig and Klawock, and later in mid-October down in Metlakatla. So women can come in, get their mammogram and get that screening right in their own hometown, without having to take a plane or a ferry to have that service done.”
Suarez says because of the partnership with Barlett Hospital, services are available to any woman in participating communities.
“Anyone can actually go and have a mammogram there. If you don’t have insurance or are on a limited income, then you can sign up for the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Woman’s Health Program. (If you are) between the ages of 40 and 64, we can help cover those costs for you.”
Suarez says women need to have a recent clinical breast exam before getting a mammogram.
“If there are any abnormal findings, when you have your clinical breast exam, then you really just need to go to a hospital where there is a radiologist on site to have your mammogram. The mobile is really a screening, so that way we really take care of the people who (just need a basic screening). But there is something that comes up abnormal when you have your screening done at the van, then our program, if you’re signed up for it, will pay for you to have that diagnostic follow up.”
SEARHC is also holding a Women’s Health Clinic in Klawock October 1st through 3rd.
“And that is for women to come in, because we need to get that clinical breast exam…your whole exam if you want to get that done during that time. We’re having a woman provider come in, which is really nice to have a woman perform those women health screenings.”
The mobile mammogram van is in Klawock this week, and will return October 3rd through 9th. Services will be available in Craig October 1st and 2nd, and in Metlakatla weekdays from October 11th through 19th.
Those wishing to schedule an appointment or wanting more information can go to the search website (www.searhc.org), contact their local clinic, or call the WISEWOMAN health program in Sitka at 1-888-388-8782.