Walk-in Mammograms

One less hassle in a busy mom's day

Busy, working mom, Rhonda Sourwine, places top priority on maintaining her health. So when St. Luke's Marion Family Medicine & Urgent Care opened a walk-in breast and bone imaging clinic last year, it couldn't have been more convenient.

"Both my husband and I work, and my children have a full schedule of activities to juggle," said the mother of five daughters. "So when I received my annual reminder for a mammogram in the mail and realized I also needed a physical, I was thinking I had to make two appointments," she said.

Walk-in clinic
"During the physical, the doctor mentioned I needed a mammogram, I said, 'I'll need to make another appointment.' And she said, 'No you don't. You can have it done right here.' That was music to my ears," Sourwine said.

"She directed me down the hall to the clinic, where I waited 15 minutes before my name was called for the exam," she said. "I was very excited and happy to have both exams done in one day. It was very convenient. The entire visit took only 45 minutes tops."

"It was a very positive experience," said Sourwine. "The technologist put me at ease. I didn't have to schedule an appointment, go downtown or worry about parking; and everyone was wonderful, friendly and very professional. I would definitely recommend it."

St. Luke's Marion Campus, which opened last year for family medicine, urgent care and physical therapy, offers walk-in mammograms with a doctor's order. No appointment is needed.

"Women are very, very busy today," said Kristi Thomson, manager of St. Luke's Breast and Bone Health, who noted the clinic has been very well received especially by active moms. "They constantly multi-task between family and careers," she continued. "We wanted to offer a clinic that allowed women, who were running errands, buying groceries or picking up their kids, to stop in for a half hour to get their annual mammogram." The visit is easy. Staff first verifies patient information before the exam that averages 15 minutes. The images are sent electronically to a radiologist, who reports directly to the patient's provider within days. A letter with the results is also sent to the patient within a week.

If a follow-up appointment for additional views or an ultrasound is needed, a nurse from Breast and Bone will call to set up the appointment at the main St. Luke's campus.

Prevention
"Offering walk-in mammograms is the right thing to do," said Thomson, who noted that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. "We recognize women are very busy today, but they also need to maintain their health. This service promotes good health for women by helping them keep up with their exams on a regular basis." Thomson noted research conducted by St. Luke's showed residents in the growing northern communities of the Greater Cedar Rapids area are grateful for the facility that lets them bypass the drive downtown, and thus save time, avoid congestion and enjoy easier parking.

For Rhonda, 41, the convenience of the clinic for her mammogram, which the American Cancer Society recommends be done annually, is even more significant.

"It's important to take care of yourself and your health for your family," said Rhonda, who encourages all women to get a mammogram.

"Breast cancer runs on my mother's side in my family; so for me, a mammogram is a preventative measure," she said. "If they can catch it soon enough, they can treat it quickly; and your quality of life will be better. So it's absolutely worth it."

For more information on walk-in mammograms call (319) 369-7216.