The Nevada Health Centers is a federally qualified health center providing affordable care through out the state of Nevada. And since 2000, they've operated the Mammovan program.

Dr. Ali Shahin is my guest in tonight's Ask the Doctor segment to talk about the Mammovan program. If you have a question, call 858-2222 between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. tonight. 

Mammovan Fact Sheet

Nevada Health Centers (NVHC) operates 16 federally qualified community health centers statewide and two mobile medical and dental programs and is a 501 C 3 non-profit organization.  Nevada Health Centers' mission is to provide access to quality health care services throughout Nevada.  To fulfill our mission, NVHC identifies gaps in health services and works toward making those services accessible.  

In 2000, NVHC launched the Mammovan program with a grant secured by former U.S. Senator John Ensign and former First Lady Dema Guinn. The purpose of the program is to reduce identified barriers to routine mammography screenings for women living in geographically isolated, medically underserved areas of Nevada.  

Since inception, the Mammovan has screened over 42,000 women and have successfully diagnosed over 200 women with breast cancer. 

In 2014, Nevada Health Centers Mammovan Program conducted 2,786 breast cancer screenings throughout the state of Nevada.

The Mammovan travels throughout Nevada twelve months out of the year, 7 days a week providing access to mammography screening services to all women regardless of their ability to pay or their economic status.  Women 40 and older can be screened yearly on the Mammovan without a referral from a physician; Women 39 years old and under can be screened with a referral from a physician; Men are eligible to be screened with a physician referral (regardless of age).

Many women served live in rural areas may live hundreds of miles away from a mammography center and lack transportation, may not understand the importance of early detection and the benefit of annual mammography screenings or may not visit a mammography center on their own for a variety of other reasons.  Therefore, it is crucial for this service to be brought to them.

The Mammovan visits over 20 locations in a typical month providing mammograms to women in need.   Bilingual education and access to the mobile mammography van have reduced the barriers of language, transportation, and fear for Nevada patients of all races and ethnicities.  The Mammovan returns to the same areas each year so patients can count on us for their annual screening exam.  

The Mammovan also visits areas where patients are considered "high risk" for not accessing mammography services, and agencies that provide services for the mentally ill, the blind and disabled.  

The Mammovan utilizes state of the art digital Hologic Selenia mammography equipment.  The Hologic Selenia Mammography System delivers sharp, digital x-ray images that are excellent in contrast and consistency providing a high quality breast cancer screening.   

The Mammovan is owned and operated as a program of Nevada Health Centers.  Operational costs for the Mammovan are covered primarily through the generosity of private and corporate donations.  This funding enables NVHC's Mammovan to provide mammograms to low-income and/or uninsured women who are unable to afford one.  

Nevada Cancer Coalition reports that proportion of women age 40 and older reporting having had a mammogram in the past two years is 69.9% far below the national average of 77.8%. The Healthy People 2020 target is 81.1%.