Upgraded MammoVan: Helping More Women With Breast Cancer Screenings

South Florida’s iconic, customized van that offers state-of-the-art mammograms has been upgraded with a new-generation vehicle. But the mission remains the same for the highly trained technicians and radiologists on board the Kathryn Krickstein Pressel MammoVan: Provide women throughout the community with mammograms, even if affordability is an issue.

With BreastCancer Awareness Month, there’s a bigger focus on the ongoing goal of gettingmore women screened, especially those who may be intimidated by going to ahospital setting, explains professional golfer Morgan Pressel, who made thelaunch of the MammoVan possible ten years ago through her contributions, alongwith the Morgan Pressel Foundation and St. Andrews Country Club.

Watch now: Hear from professional golfer Morgan Pressel, who made the launch of the MammoVan possible ten years ago. (Video by Dylan Kyle.)

Ms. Pressel,31, who currently plays on the LPGA tour, was only 11 when her 39-year-oldmother Kathryn Krickstein Pressel was diagnosed with breast cancer. She diedfour years later. As a 12-year-old, Ms. Pressel became the youngest player toqualify for the U.S. Women’s Open.

“We’rereally proud to have this mammography vehicle that’s traveling around SouthFlorida, the only one offering this service to our community,” says Ms.Pressel, who is from Boca Raton. “Take advantage of it and encourage yourfriends to take advantage of it.”

The KathrynKrickstein Pressel MammoVan typically travels 10,000 miles and visits close to200 sites each year. Since 2010, the MammoVan has performed more than 16,000mammograms and diagnosed 59 women with cancer. The MammoVan is an extension ofthe care provided at the Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health& Wellness Institute at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

“Somepeople think that because it’s a van that, it’s not the same technology or notthe same equipment that they get at a hospital. But … it is exactly thesame,” explains Ms. Pressel. “There is zero difference. It’s the samehighly trained technicians. It’s the same exact equipment. And it’s the sameradiologists that are reading the scans and giving you your diagnosis.”

Here is morefrom Ms. Pressel about the inspiration for the MammoVan and its vital communityrole.

Whatinspired you to raise funds to make the MammoVan a reality?

“Wehave a few years of raising money under our belts for breast cancer specificinitiatives, and we knew we wanted to partner with our local hospital, BocaRaton Regional. We’re a very South Florida-based organization. A lot of thefunds come out of St. Andrews Country Club which has been supportive of ourefforts from the very beginning. So, we really wanted to make a differenceright in our backyard. And when we were looking at different opportunities,there were things, like obviously equipment … things that we could dospecifically in the hospital. But then the MammoVan became this idea that thatreally pulled me in and said: This is different.

“Thisis something that I’ve never even really heard of before. I didn’t even knowwhat a MammoVan was and I just said that this is the direction that we need togo. Now, we’re on our second MammoVan after almost 10 years since the firstMammoVan became a reality (and) having it named in honor of my mother. Everyonce in a while, I pass it on I-95 and I think: It’s really going out into theneighborhoods where we live and making a difference in those women’slives.”

Why didyou choose to work with the Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & WellnessInstitute on this initiative?

“I’mfrom Boca Raton. I learned how to play golf in Boca Raton. It’s my home and mycommunity. And it’s the community of the majority of our supporters. Throughall of our donors and all of our supporters, especially St. Andrews CountryClub, we wanted to do something locally and Boca Raton Regional Hospital wasreally the natural fit for us. It’s been a great, years-long partnership, wherewe’ve had a lot of different and very successful initiatives that we’velaunched. To know that it’s possible that we are helping people that we don’tknow all right in our backyard, I think that’s one of my favorite things thatwe do — that it is all local in South Florida.”

How doyou feel the MammoVan makes mammography more accessible?

“Ithink mammography is something that can be very intimidating for a lot ofwomen. I actually had one experience that was quite eye-opening to me. I knewthat the MammoVan was definitely more convenient and could come to yourworkplace. But I was doing an event in the month of October for Breast CancerAwareness month and this one employee where we were doing the event came outwalking towards the MammoVan. I didn’t understand what was happening at first.When she was asked when was her last mammogram, the woman admitted that shenever had one. And she was 53-years-old. She was so nervous walking out to gether first mammogram, but her co-workers were there supporting her and reallyencouraged her to go get that mammogram. I believe that the test was negative,but just to think that sometimes there’s that one hurdle. She may have nevergone in to get her mammogram had it been in the hospital — maybe never.

“TheMammoVan just makes it less intimidating … I always say that everyone shouldask all of the women in your lives: When was your last mammogram. Make sure youhold them accountable to stay on top of their health. I think the MammoVan isdefinitely helping people in South Florida do that.”

Can youexplain how your foundation helps women who can’t afford a mammogram or may nothave the right insurance, if insured at all?

“That’sreally important to us and important to our community. We don’t turn peopleaway because of lack of funds or lack of insurance. From our donations to fundthe MammoVan, we also have a separate fund that works directly to help thosewho don’t have the financial capabilities to get tested. This is something manyof us take for granted — the ability to have a mammogram. So, we’re alsohelping those people by giving them that access.”

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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