When Francine’s Friends was introduced in 2005, the mission was simple: Increase cancer screenings in Northeast Indiana by providing a highly accessible and visible community resource for women who might not otherwise have access. Today, more than 36,000 mammograms have been performed on the mobile mammography coach, almost 12,000 of which have been funded by Francine’s Friends. (Diagnostics, fuel and maintenance is provided by Parkview Community Health Improvement Fund and grants through the Parkview Foundation.)
While these numbers are encouraging, it’s important that the community understands these services are for anyone. “We use the latest digital mammogram equipment, so it’s no different than making an appointment with your provider. It’s quick and confidential and we can typically have someone in and out in 15 minutes,” Sheila Summers, radiologic technologist, said.
“The important thing is making this screening available to everyone,” Tami Lemna, registrar/driver, added, offering that the coach goes as far west as Shipshewana, down to Muncie and into Ohio to attend fairs, businesses and community events. “We just had a woman come on board a few weeks back and tell us she just happened to see our bus a few years back, came on, got her mammogram, was diagnosed and now she’s 2 years cancer-free. She wasn’t even planning on getting a mammogram. She felt like God brought her here. That’s amazing.” If fact, more than 150 diagnoses have been linked to a screening received on the Francine’s Friends bus – a huge testament to early detection.
You might have spotted the coach, but have you ever been inside? We invite you to take a closer look at the process (and the interior) from registration to results:
To request Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography coach at your business or to learn more, contact Debi Kennedy at (260) 266-9180. To support this initiative, you can make a donation to either Francine’s Friends or the Parkview Foundations. Or to schedule an appointment at a location near you visit the community events calendar on parkview.com.