Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 9, 2021

New mobile mammography coach with 3D imaging arrives at CHI Memorial

The MaryEllen Locher Breast Center at CHI Memorial has a new mobile mammography coach with 3D imaging. The new coach replaces the original coach, which is more than 15 years old.

An anonymous local foundation and proceeds from the Pink! 2020 fundraiser provided the money to purchase the new coach, which carries with the latest imaging technology available, says the Breast Center.

“Tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography, takes multiple images of the breast from different angles to create a three-dimensional picture of the breast,” says Dr. Jessie Varnell, director of imaging at the Breast Center. “Having all those images makes it easier for the radiologist reading the mammogram to spot small cancers sooner, especially in women with dense, or thick, breast tissue.”

The Breast Center’s coaches travel thousands of miles each year, says Brittany Hennessee, breast services manager at the Breast Center.

“Our mobile coaches go to churches, health departments, clinics and private businesses in Chattanooga and our surrounding communities. They remove a common barrier of not having the time or a way to travel to get a mammogram.”

The Breast Center’s coaches serve 13 counties in Eastern Tennessee and five counties in North Georgia.

“Finding breast cancer early usually means shorter and less invasive treatments, as well as better outcomes,” Hennessee continues.

In 2020, the Breast Center’s coaches performed nearly 2,600 mammograms. Twelve women who had mammograms on one of the coaches were diagnosed with cancer during the year.

The Breast Center has four locations – CHI Memorial Hospital Chattanooga, CHI Memorial Hospital Hixson, Ooltewah Imaging Center and CHI Memorial Parkway in Ringgold – as well as the mobile coaches.

The Breast Center performed more than 25,000 mammograms at its locations in 2020.

The Breast Center recommends women have a mammogram every year starting at age 40, or earlier for women with additional risk factors.

Women should continue getting mammograms as long as life expectancy is at least 10 years.

To schedule a mammogram at any Breast Center location, call 423 495 4040. A physician’s referral is not necessary.


Source: MaryEllen Locher Breast Center