The BelkGives on the Go Mobile Mammography Center is on the road again, providing free mammography to patients throughout the United States. The 38-foot mobile unit packs a lot on its four wheels, including a waiting area, a dressing room, and an examination room.
This unique collaboration between Charlotte Radiology and Belk department stores began in 2013. Women who are older that 40, have no current breast health issues and have not had a mammogram in the last 12 months are eligible. If patients are uninsured, Belk fully pays for the mammogram through its own funding.
After making an appointment by phone, patients are assisted by Charlotte Radiology’s female staff of technologists. A radiologist will then study the results and send them to the patient and her primary care physician. As an extra service, Belk provides patients with complimentary bra fittings.
Shawna Platé, Charlotte Radiology’s senior marketing project specialist, said women are often “pleasantly surprised” by how private the mobile centers feel once they walk inside.
“You don’t even really notice once you’ve walked in that you’re in a mobile center,” she said.
Platé also noted that the collaboration between Belk and Charlotte Radiology has brought mammograms to many patients who may not have been able to have mammograms otherwise.
“A lot of the Belk stores are in communities that don’t have access to a lot of medical care ... many of our patients are very appreciative, because they have to travel 30 minutes to get a mammogram or some other sort of health screening where they live,” Platé said.
Education is also a big part of the BelkGives on the Go Mobile Mammography Center. The program aims to get women started on a path they can follow annually, on their own, because patients can’t assume a mobile unit will be around at the same time every year.
“We may not come back the next year when they’re due for their yearly exam,” Platé said. “We send a reminder and ask them to please find a local provider to continue their routine.”
Besides the work with Belk, Charlotte Radiology has two mobile units of its own. The company’s first mobile center unit first hit the road back in 2011.
The BelkGives on the Go Mobile Mammography Center’s full schedule is available on Belk’s website. In addition, Charlotte Radiology’s full mobile breast center schedule is available at its own website.