GCI, Swedish Medical Center partner to bring life-saving breast cancer screenings to rural areas

October 27, 2017

Mobile Mammography Program serves thousands in underserved communities

Seattle, Washington – GCI, Alaska’s largest communications and technology company with a growing portfolio of clients across the Pacific Northwest, and Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center are working together to deliver breast cancer screenings to women in communities that would otherwise have little-to-no access to this potentially life-saving service.

Leveraging GCI’s satellite technology and ConnectMD  network, Swedish Medical Center’s Mobile Mammography Program delivers screenings to approximately 6,000 women each year, from underserved urban areas, to the most rural and hard-to-reach communities in Washington State.

“We go to where the women are,” said Darlene Fanus, manager of the Swedish Mobile Mammography and Breast Care Community Outreach. “The mobile clinic helps women feel like they are in a safe environment, especially because they can go with their friends.”

Swedish Medical Center’s Mobile Mammography Program strives to increase outreach in underserved communities and reduce the disparity in care due to limited access. The program operates two state-of-the-art mobile coaches offering digital full-field mammography technology. A smaller coach serves urban areas, and a second, larger coach is equipped with a complete rooftop satellite system enabling the secure transmission of images to breast-screening radiologists at Swedish.

“Helping to bring innovative health care solutions to underserved communities is an issue of particular importance to GCI,” said Vice President of GCI Government, Healthcare and Education Pam Lloyd, Ph.D.  “Through GCI’s ConnectMD network, Swedish Medical Center is able to provide potentially life-saving health care services to those who may otherwise not have access.”

GCI has been a partner of Swedish Medical Center since 2008 and in 2010 began offering dependable satellite connectivity to Swedish’s mobile coaches, increasing their effectiveness in underserved urban and rural areas. GCI’s ConnectMD network connects 270 hospitals, clinics and allied health facilities throughout Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.

The Mobile Mammography Program’s mobile coaches operate six days per week and serve more than 120 Washington communities, visiting each multiple times per year.

About Swedish Medical Center

Swedish is the largest nonprofit health care provider in the greater Seattle area with five hospital campuses: First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard, Edmonds and Issaquah. Swedish also operates ambulatory care centers in Redmond and Mill Creek, and a network of more than 100 primary care and specialty clinics throughout the greater Puget Sound area. Learn more at swedish.org.

About GCI

GCI is the largest communications provider in Alaska, providing data, wireless, video, voice, and managed services to consumer and business customers throughout the nation. Headquartered in Alaska, GCI has delivered services for nearly 40 years to some of the most remote communities and in some of the most challenging conditions in North America. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com.

Media Contact

Heather Handyside