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Dana-Farber's community outreach efforts are now under one umbrella. Dana-Farber's Mammography Van and the Blum Family Resource Center Van have come together in the Mobile Health program, led by the departments of Imaging and External Affairs.
The program is designed to provide an even stronger focus to the Institute's longstanding commitment to bring cancer prevention and care into the community.
"With the vans working in a more integrated manner, we expect to achieve greater effectiveness and efficiencies in delivering screening services and cancer education," says Administrative Director of Imaging Rick Tetrault, MS, RT(N).
"The program also gives us the opportunity to work closer together with our community partners in planning and scheduling visits. It's designed to help strengthen and develop relationships both in and outside the Institute."
Director Noreen Burke leads the program. She joined Dana-Farber in March 2009 with an extensive background in public and community health, most recently serving as public health director for the city of Somerville, Mass.
"I see the vans as vitally important, not just because they bring Dana-Farber's expertise to the community, but because I believe that everyone deserves access to preventive care," Burke says.
"Both provide an invaluable service in delivering needed health programs to men and women throughout the Boston area — particularly in underserved communities."
Commissioned in 2004, the Blum van brings evidence-based cancer education, prevention, and screening to groups and individuals in and around Boston. It provides prostate screening and education, as well as skin cancer screening.
The custom-designed vehicle is 39 feet long and has Internet access, private screening areas, and a classroom that can hold up to 15 people. It often visits local beaches, golf tournaments, charity walks, and other special events.
The mammography van is the only one of its kind in Massachusetts. The 38-foot-long vehicle is fully equipped to provide annual breast screenings and health education, primarily to underserved minority groups and others who might not have access to such care.
Each week, this "rolling clinic" visits neighborhood health centers and other community-based organizations throughout the Boston area. It screens around 4,000 women each year.