WEST READING, Pa. — Stretching 40 feet long and 9 feet wide, Reading Hospital's new mobile mammography coach is set to take breast cancer screenings to communities far and wide.
"It's about teamwork. It's about community," said Dr. Charles Barbera, the hospital's president and CEO.
The bus is equipped with 3D mobile mammography equipment. Barbera said it takes the latest technology into the community.
"Breast cancer, as you know, is a diagnosis that is very treatable, but very common in our community here," Barbera said.
The bus has a waiting area where it can have two patients waiting at a time, and one can check in just like at a regular doctor's appointment.
Reading Hospital Foundation President Kate Thornton said in 15 minutes, patients are in and out. She also said the bus will break down barriers.
"Many of the women in Berks County — either they have transportation issues, work challenges, language barriers — and we're finding that we're way below the national average on mammography screenings," Thornton said.
For people who are uninsured or underinsured, a patient's assistance fund will help offset any expenses.
The American College of Radiology recommends that all women get their first mammogram at the age of 40.
"So, by taking the coach out into the community where they live," Thornton said, "we're making sure that it's easy for them to get a mammogram."
People looking to schedule appointments can contact the Reading Hospital Imaging Centers.