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Spotlight on Health Care Equity

Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States. Mammograms can detect breast cancer in its earliest, most curable stages. Unfortunately, barriers to receiving this potentially life-saving screening, such as limited time and financial resources, and the lack of access to transportation and interpreter services, contribute to the prevalence of breast cancer in the most underserved populations.

HealthPartners and Park Nicollet Health Services

HealthPartners and Park Nicollet Health Services have a longstanding focus on health equity, with a strong commitment from their Board of Directors.

Since 2005, they’ve included equity and the elimination of racial and financial disparities in their annual plans and five-year plans. Their overall goal is to improve the health and well-being of each member, patient and the entire community.

They believe that health equity should be embedded in everything they do. The work of achieving health equity belongs to all of us.

To achieve these goals, they focus on:

  • Collecting data to help improve care and eliminate disparities
  • Eliminate barriers to receiving care by providing financial support through the Park Nicollet Foundation
  • Partnering with the community to learn how they can support all of their patients and members
  • Building their understanding of equity, cultural humility, diversity and inclusion, and unconscious bias

Using Technology in New Ways

HealthPartners’ and Park Nicollet Health Services (PNHS) leadership understands the need to provide mammograms to its patient population. In 2014, PNHS initiated the “Mammo A Go-Go” truck in partnership with the Jane Brattain Breast Center and several community-based organizations. Mammo A Go-Go is a state-of-the-art mobile mammography unit that brings the best breast cancer screening services into the community in a tranquil environment. Mammo A Go-Go travels throughout the Twin Cities metro area and offers mammograms for all women. The mobile unit is offered at 13 Park Nicollet clinics and various community events that serve underserved communities. Screening takes less than 15 minutes and interpreters are onsite to ensure women fully understand the procedure.

Moving Toward a Solution

Jane Brattain Breast Centers’ Mammo A Go-Go initiative has provided more than 30,000 mammography screenings to women at hundreds of screening events since its inception. They continue to see increased rates of participating sites, patients screened, interpreters used, and positive screens. In 2021, 41% of women seen through the Mammo A Go-Go community outreach program used an interpreter. In 2020, more than 25 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed through the mobile unit. Patients of Mammo A Go-Go enthusiastically recommend it as an easy way to get screened and prevent disease.

mammography screenings provided by Mammo A Go-Go at hundreds of screening events since 2014.

Mammo A Go-Go is a testament to the ways in which mobile mammography units can help decrease disparities in screening and mitigate poor breast cancer outcomes for women of color residing in communities with lower socioeconomic status.

If you are interested in learning more, contact Angela Nelson at

Developed by The Joint Commission with permission