Release Provided Courtesy of GE
CHEYENNE, Wyo., – Jun 27, 2012 – One third of Wyoming women never get screened mostly due to long travel distances to screening facility – on average about 70 miles – part of GE's $1 billion global cancer commitment that works to accelerate cancer innovation and improve care for 10 million patients by 2020.
GE today deployed a new mobile mammography van to travel across the state of Wyoming to increase access to breast cancer screenings. The van is part of the WY Women First Program, a collaboration among GE, the State of Wyoming and Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, which works to increase access to mammography screenings in one of the most rural states in the United States.
According to the Wyoming Department of Health, the average distance to a mammography screening facility in Wyoming is 70 miles. The 2010 Center of Disease Control study analyzing breast cancer screening rates found the overall screening rate for Wyoming women 40 and older is 67.3 percent, compared to the United States median rate of 75.6 percent. Wyoming breast screening rates ranks among the lowest in the United States at 48th place.
"The First Lady and I commend GE and its partners for bringing mammography screenings directly to the women of our state," Governor Matt Mead said. "We believe that innovative ideas and technologies, like the mammography van, are excellent ways to increase access to preventative healthcare. The van will also raise awareness about the importance of screenings."
The mobile mammography van will be equipped with GE Healthcare's Senographe Essential technology, a full-field digital mammography system designed to be a flexible screening unit.
In addition to the launch of the mobile mammography van, Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced today it will grant $1.2 million to three nonprofit organizations to offer mammograms, with no-out-of pocket costs, to Wyoming women without insurance. The nonprofit grantees are: Women's Wellness at Wyoming Migrant Health, Wyoming Foundation for Cancer Care and The Caring Foundation of Wyoming.
This grant is in addition to the more than $2.5 million spent by Komen's Wyoming Affiliate since 1996 to support critical programs that meet breast cancer needs for women across the state.
Lynn Erdman, Komen's vice president of community health said, "One of the major barriers to screening is access: physical access, which will be addressed with the mammovan, and financial access. Our grants are designed to remove the cost barrier for uninsured women."
Combining the mammovan and grant program, WY Women First aims to screen 15,000 women over the age of 40 in Wyoming by July 2013. Women interested in the van's route as well as opportunities for screenings can visit wywomenfirst.com.
Sue Siegel, CEO healthymagination, GE said, "The WY Women First program is a key component of healthymagination's commitment to increase access to quality care. Through innovative collaboration, GE is at work deploying tools to fight breast cancer so that one day cancer can become not only a curable disease but ultimately, a preventable one."
Launched in September, WY Women First is part of GE's healthymagination commitment to accelerate cancer innovation by investing $1 billion in cancer technology research and development as well as improve care for 10 million cancer patients around the world by 2020.
Broadcast Footage of the Van: http://www.tiltmedia.com/GE/