GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP - Atlantic Medical Imaging plans to cover more ground in South Jersey with its new mobile mammography van.
The Galloway Township company took over the traveling program this year from AtlantiCare, which has offered mammograms from the back of a modified recreational vehicle since 1993. The company plans to expand its coverage area as it travels from employer to employer.
AtlantiCare for years work-ed with the Ruth Newman Shapiro Cancer and Heart Fund to make mammograms more accessible and convenient for patients who were under-insured or uninsured, spokeswoman Jennifer Tor-netta said.
"As costs to operate and promote the van increased, we looked for ways to maintain the service in the community," she said in an email.
In Atlantic Medical Imag-ing, AtlantiCare found a company willing to take over this valuable service, she said.
Tornetta said AtlantiCare will continue to offer mammogram screenings at its Mainland and Atlantic City hospitals through a grant from Susan G. Komen, the nation's largest breast-cancer organization.
Atlantic Medical Imaging President Robert Glassberg, of Linwood, said his company welcomed the addition of the traveling program since this type of diagnostic exam is part of its core health mission. The company already sees more than 40,000 mammography patients each year and performs more than 1,000 minimally invasive biopsies.
"It's really an access issue. Convenient access to a health center is the No. 1 reason that people get tested," he said. "There are some women who have legitimate transportation issues."
Mammograms are covered by virtually all health-insurance plans, he said. Under the federal Affordable Care Act, there is no co-pay, deductible or out-of-pocket expense for a screening.
"That slogan is true. Early detection saves lives. With mammography, that's been proven," he said.
The RV, painted in appropriate pink accents with a large billboard advertising its mammography services, is equipped with diagnostic equipment and computer work station to be self-sufficient as it travels across South Jersey. The van typically visits shopping centers and employers.
Under AtlantiCare, the van traveled to Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Salem and Gloucester counties. Glassberg said Atlantic Medical Imaging will add Ocean and Monmouth counties, where the company has three offices.
"Our practice stretches from Exit 10 to Exit 100," he said of the Garden State Parkway. "We'll be able to get the mammography van out there to a lot more people."
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