Making healthcare easier: Women can schedule mammogram without referral

Time to schedule your annual mammogram? It’s now easier than ever. Local women can now schedule a screening mammogram at the Springfield Regional Imaging Center and Mercy Memorial Hospital without a physician referral. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women. In fact, one out of eight women will develop breast cancer some time during her life—this means one new diagnosis every two minutes. Mammography is considered the best way to detect breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage. Screening mammograms are recommended every year for women once they reach 40 years of age. High-quality mammograms are available at the Springfield Regional Imaging Center and Mercy Memorial Hospital. The Imaging Center offers 3D tomography, which provides the clearest image available. And 3D tomography is covered by many health insurance programs. Those interested in scheduling may want to check with their health plans to determine coverage. To schedule a mammogram at the Imaging Center or Mercy Memorial Hospital, call 937-328-8100. The initiative resulted from a Mammography Task Force organized by Community Mercy Health Partners. “Our goal was to remove obstacles and improve access to care,” said Pamela Bucklew-Wilder, MD, task force chair. “We received feedback from many women that this initiative would make it much easier for them to schedule their mammogram.” If the patient has a physician, the mammography result can be sent to that physician. A patient without a physician can be given the results directly. If there is an abnormal finding in the mammogram, a group of skilled local surgeons are available to discuss options. “Regardless of whether the patient has a physician, we have specially trained staff at the Imaging Center and the Springfield Regional Cancer Center who are available to help them navigate through the process,” said Selena Kemper, Mammography Supervisor at the Springfield Regional Imaging Center. “It’s important for them to know they are not alone. Our knowledgeable and compassionate breast health navigators can answer any questions and help the patient understand next steps.”