Personal Stories, Community
By: Amanda DeBard
Ian Fennell, a health programs manager, is removing barriers to breast care through an on-site mobile screening unit that can service 23 women per day.
Susan G. Komen recently sat down with Ian to learn more about how he’s making it easier for women to detect breast cancer through on-site diagnostic tests and ultrasounds. Here’s what he had to say about his work:
Question: What makes your facility unique?
Answer: I oversee the breast care program, and because of the funding that we get from Susan G. Komen and other organizations, I’m able to have the mobile unit onsite. They can be here from morning until afternoon, see approximately 23 patients a day, and that means that anybody who’s coming for an appointment that day can get their screening done that same day, or we can preregister people that we know are coming in, and we can get them on the mobile unit for preventative screenings.
Q: How is the mobile unit making breast screenings more accessible?
A: I noticed that there was a little bit of a lag in our completion rates for screenings, so I said well let’s get the mobile unit on-site that way we can capture them in real-time. [We can just say], “hey, you’re due for your screening, all right, come on in, we’ve already got it here.” So, there’s no real barrier anymore.
Q: How has the community been receptive to the mobile unit?
A: It just opens up a kind of awareness in the community that we’re here and looking out for them. We want to make sure that they come here for all their preventative services, all their disease management and any kind of illness or ailments that might be going on in their lives.
Q: What other services to you provide those in your community?
A: Because of Susan G. Komen, we’re able to do a lot of screenings. We’re able to do diagnostics, ultrasounds, biopsies, stereotactic and ultrasound-guided. So, all those basic procedures, and then we’re also able to bridge the gap between transportation barriers. So, [for] women who have trouble getting to the imaging facility … we have incentives and will supply people with MARTA cards for follow-ups if they need short-term follow-up and we also provide gas cards to cover some of the cost of that trip.
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