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Tampa VA Takes Screening Mammograms to Veterans with Help from Local Partner

MammoLink Bus.
MammoLink bus conveniently brings mammogram screening services to women Veterans at the Lecanto CBOC on Jan. 25.

MammoLink bus helps connect women Veterans to the soonest and best care.

The James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and Clinics (JAHVH) is continuing efforts to promote equity and reduce disparities in health care services to women Veterans in Tampa Bay. 

On Jan. 25, the Tampa VA Women Veterans Program partnered with Dr. Marta Babol, Chief Medical Officer, Lecanto Community Based Outpatient Clinic, and Lisa Hopfennmeuller, Licensed Practical Nurse to arrange for MammoLink, a Tampa-based mobile mammogram company, to provide screening mammograms at no cost to women Veterans in Lecanto, Fla.

Parked at the Lecanto CBOC for the day, the large pink, white, and blue bus equipped with staff and imaging equipment saw 35 women Veterans during the day.   

“Traditionally, women receiving services at the Lecanto CBOC must drive 70 miles to have a mammogram done at the VA Hospitals in Tampa or Gainesville, or 55 miles to the New Port Richey VA outpatient clinic. Alternatively, mammograms are referred out to local non-VA facilities,” said Robin Norris, Women Veterans Program Manager, JAHVH.

“These barriers to care create additional hardships for women Veterans in need of screening mammograms.”

Dr. Marta Babol, Chief Medical Officer, Lecanto CBOC, shared a story of one female Veteran who was overdue for her routine screening mammogram but repeatedly didn’t follow through with scheduling, as she did not want to drive to Tampa for the study. The Veteran received a mammogram during the event and "was moved to tears" at the convenience and ease of the service, Babol recounted.  

“This service is a huge benefit for women Veterans in underserved areas,” said Norris. 

“The entire process is very Veteran-friendly due to the location of the vehicle and ease of scheduling, continuity of care by keeping studies with VA, and the ability to notify patients timely of results. There are also tangible cost savings because we can effectively reduce the need for referrals into the community,” she said. 

Due to the success of the event and the positive feedback, VA officials hope to continue the partnership for other events and utilize MammoLink’s capabilities to reach more women Veterans residing in rural areas served by the Tampa VA. 

To learn more about the Tampa VA’s Women Veterans Program and to connect with a Women Veteran Program Manager, please visit

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