The University of Michigan (U-M) Hospital in Ann Arbor has established a mobile mammography unit based at the U-M Ypsilanti Health Center, 200 Arnet St. #200 in Ypsilanti, in an effort to improve accessibility in the Ypsilanti community. The mobile unit opened its services to the Ypsilanti community on Feb. 14.
"We have a strategy to try to bring care closer to home," says Tony Denton, senior vice president and chief environmental, social, and governance officer at U-M Hospital. "Given our interest to try to screen and detect breast cancer, this priority rose to the top as something to reduce the equity gap."
Up until the mobile unit’s opening, Ypsi residents in need of mammography imaging and screening required reliable transportation to and from the hospital in Ann Arbor. When taking public transit from the downtown Ypsilanti Transit Center, this trip can take 30 minutes to an hour, and involves boarding two different buses.
Denton has seen other mobile health screening units, but wanted to specifically fill the gap when it came to early detection and intervention of cancer. He hopes to bring additional cancer services, including screening for prostate and lung cancer, to Ypsilanti.
The mobile mammography unit will also follow Ypsilanti Health Center to its new location at 300 W. Michigan Avenue, slated to open later this year. The new facility will offer a fixed mammography unit, which will then allow the mobile unit to dispatch wherever it is needed, according to Denton.
"We want to make sure to take care of everyone, regardless of pay or pay status," he says. "We’re evaluating for priority. The whole idea is taking it where it's needed to make the service easier to access."
For more information, visit U-M Health’s website
Rylee Barnsdale is a Michigan native and longtime Washtenaw County resident. She wants to use her journalistic experience from her time at Eastern Michigan University writing for the Eastern Echo to tell the stories of Washtenaw County residents that need to be heard.
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