Bassett Healthcare’s new mobile cancer screening coach made its debut at New York Central Insurance Company on November 13th. The Fly Creek Cider Mill helped fund the vehicle from donating Saturday cider sales during the Mill’s annual Big Squeeze Weekend in early October
Below is a story from The Daily Star covering the event:
Bassett Healthcare unveils cancer-screening vehicle
By: Tom Grace- Cooperstown News Bureau
Bassett Healthcare´s blue-and-white cancer-screening coach was introduced to the public Wednesday morning in Edmeston in the parking lot of the New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Co.After it begins service in early December, the coach will bring modern cancer-screening equipment to remote parts of Bassett´s eight-county, 5,600-square-mile service area, said Dr. William Streck, Bassett´s CEO, to a crowd of more than 100.Too often, people in rural areas don´t know they have cancer until the disease is advanced and difficult to treat, Streck said.The purpose of the 40-foot-long coach is to take the hospital´s latest equipment to the countryside where people can easily stop by for a mammogram, or a Pap, prostate or colorectal cancer screening.Early detection greatly increases chances of survival.
The coach was built by Medical Coaches Inc. of Oneonta. Streck said the Friends of Bassett, the hospital´s fundraisers, had been buoyed by ``truly remarkable philanthropic support from the community,´´ receiving $890,000, including large donations from SEFCU, a credit union based in Albany, and New York Central Mutual. When Dan Robinson, the insurance company´s chief executive officer and president, began to speak, he read a long list of names of his employees who had succumbed to cancer. ``And we have many more who have had treatment and are still with us,´´ said Robinson, noting that more than 1,000 employees had been tested.
The new coach, which replaces a less-sophisticated hospital van, has an important mission: Saving lives, Robinson said. ``This isn´t just a vehicle; it´s a vehicle of hope,´´ he said. Mike Hutcherson of Cooperstown, SEFCU´s vice president, said the credit union wanted to help with that mission. ``We salute Bassett Healthcare for its commitment to the community,´´ he said.
After speeches and a ribbon-cutting, people went on tours of the coach, which has ``For Peace of Mind´´ and ``For Early Detection´´ emblazoned on both sides. Near the front of the rig, just behind the driver´s cabin, is a waiting room, and the examining rooms are in the middle and rear sections. Unlike the hospital van, the cancer-screening coach has its own generator and can set up nearly anywhere. Dr. William Richstmeier, director of the Bassett Cancer Institute, said, ``The coach will go where the people are.´´ People may put off having cancer screens because they can´t get time off from work to travel, or believe they can´t afford the tests, he noted. But programs are available to help with bills and the hospital can now travel to the patients, he said.
Brenda Nutt, the hospital´s regional radiation services manager, said Bassett is converting from analog to digital mammography equipment, which provides sharper images and better ways to transmit them from one expert to another. The coach has this equipment, she said. And as it makes its rounds, she said, ``There will be a doctor on board.´´