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'The MammoVan:' Arkansas hospital brings mammogram screenings to patients

Currently, there's over 20 counties in Arkansas with no mammogram centers available. But, UAMS's 'MammoVan' boosts access and brings the screenings to patients.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — One of the major obstacles standing in the way of Arkansas women getting recommended breast cancer screenings is access.

Right now, more than 20 counties in the state have no mammogram centers available.

But now women have a convenient option in the UAMS MammoVan.

The MammoVan is no ordinary recreational vehicle, it’s specially equipped to offer women a private breast screening by certified technologists. 

"Our purpose is to be able to travel throughout the state to provide access to screening mammography for patients who might have problems getting access”, said Heather Kindy, the MammoVan supervisor.

The van stands out with its white background and pink and black lettering. It caught the eye of Cabot hairstylist Lisa McClure years ago. 

“I work right down the road here and I saw it parked out here and decided to call the number on the side of the van, and set up an appointment," McClure said.

She said she's able to stay current on her breast screenings because the MammoVan returns to Cabot each year and takes only minutes of her time. 

"I always encourage my clients, my family members and my friends, especially that are my age to, if they haven't ever had it done, to come down here and have it done because it's not that hard," McClure said.

Inside the traveling screening center, patients are seen one at a time in a private, peaceful setting. Results of their screening are sent by mail and typically received around a week later.

Heather Kindy is also the specially licensed driver of the moveable mammography mobile and said by visiting smaller communities in Arkansas, breast screenings are going up, while the number of women going without their screenings is going down. 

“We make it really hard to not have any excuses. We come to you. We make it very close. We make it very convenient. We try to get you in and out in around 15 minutes," Kindy said. 

That effort isn't going unnoticed either, as many like Lisa McClure appreciate the accommodations along with the relief in knowing she's watching out for her own health every time the MammoVan rolls through town.

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