As a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend — you always want to be there for your loved ones. Yet, women often put themselves at the end of the list, especially if time, money and transportation are a factor. However, your health is important and detecting breast cancer early can save lives.
For many living in Brantley, Camden, Glynn, Long and McIntosh counties, these factors prohibit women to reach health care services. Fortunately, for these underserved individuals, hope comes in the form of a mobile health vehicle.
Thanks to the Southeast Georgia Health System Foundation, a brand new Wellness on Wheels (WOW) mobile health vehicle has been acquired, replacing the existing 2005 vehicle. The WOW offers low-cost and free health services to the community.
“Our WOW health care team provides lab tests, blood pressure checks, flu shots, and wellness and bone density screenings,” says Brendan Hunt, MBA, manager, Talent Acquisition/Health Promotion & Wellness at Southeast Georgia Health System. Hunt also oversees operations for the WOW.
The WOW is a familiar sight throughout southeast Georgia. In 2019 alone, the mobile health vehicle worked 157 events and provided 848 mammograms. All that travel takes its toll. When mechanical issues increasingly interfered with service, the Foundation eagerly stepped in to fund a new one.
“Our new WOW and its onboard technology cost $780,290. Because we understand the importance of access to care, funding a new mobile health vehicle was an easy decision,” says Krista Robitz, director, Development, Southeast Georgia Health System Foundation. Generous donations from a direct mail campaign, gifts from Friends of the Foundation and a portion of proceeds from previous Bridge Run events helped to fund the purchase.
The new WOW is larger than its predecessor and features an updated, more comfortable interior and, most importantly, state-of-the-art technology, such as the new 3D mammography machine. 3D mammography delivers better image clarity and improved cancer detection for dense breast tissue. This is critical, since 40-50% of women have dense breasts, putting them at a higher risk of developing cancer.
The Health System recently completed and passed the annual U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) inspection for all Health System mammography equipment, including equipment on the WOW. Staffed by female mammography technologists specially trained to perform breast imaging, all mammograms on the WOW are read by the same group of radiologists who review Breast Care Center mammograms
For people living in rural counties, the WOW is a lifeline between home and a hospital. “Those of us living close to a hospital may take that convenience for granted. The WOW mobile health vehicle offers easy access to health care in a timely manner,” Robitz says.
If you would like to schedule the WOW mobile health vehicle for your not-for-profit event or to provide screenings to employees at your place of business, please call the Southeast Georgia Health System Health Promotion & Wellness department at 912-466-5160.