Mobile Mammography Offers Convenience, Peace of Mind and for Mary Beth – More Time in the Classroom
For Mary Beth Paff, a kindergarten teacher with Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS), the 29 years she’s spent at the front of the classroom have had a profound effect on her life. “I’ve always loved children,” she says, “and this is how I can make a difference in the world.” However, fifteen minutes at work one day in March 2016 changed her life more than she could have ever imagined.
Cincinnati Public Schools are one of the many organizations who contract with TriHealth Corporate Health to provide a variety of health and wellness services to their employees, sometimes including mobile health screenings such as TriHealth Women’s Services Mobile Mammography Van.
“Every year they have screening with mammogram van,” Mary Beth says. “It’s very convenient to me to have it done on my lunch break. It’s quick and I can get back to work, which is nice.”
However, results from that screening led to further testing, after which Mary Beth was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer.
“I was floored,” she says. “Cancer doesn’t run in my family and I never thought that I would be a candidate to it. But I asked, ‘OK what do we have to do? I want to get this taken care of.”
Mary Beth underwent a series of treatment including radiation, medication and a lumpectomy performed at TriHealth’s Good Samaritan Hospital.
“The staff at Good Sam was amazing,” she says. “They took good care of me.”
Mary Beth continues a three-year treatment with hormone-suppression medication, which she will have to complete before being considered cancer-free. The treatment leaves her physically drained, at times, but she continues to teach full-time.
“I love my job,” she says. “I want to continue to be there for my students and to be able to enjoy my own grandchildren. I can rest on the weekends.”
For patients like Mary Beth, early detection of breast cancer can be crucial for improving the chances of survival, which is why she advocates for regular screenings, especially for those who have convenient access.
“If I wouldn’t have gone that day, it could easily have been stage two or three before we found out,” she says. “I’m very thankful to have that option of using the van at CPS. If you don’t take care of yourself, nobody’s going to take care of you.”
Screenings offered through TriHealth Corporate Health are not the only opportunities available through TriHealth’s Breast Care program. They offer mammograms through multiple breast care locations and at community events and locations throughout Greater Cincinnati.
“Over these past eight years, I have seen firsthand how beneficial the TriHealth Women’s Services Van has been in the lives of so many,” says Nyota Stoker, manager of TriHealth Mobile Mammography and Community Outreach. “I have heard time and again, “if it had not been for the van coming to my job, doctor’s office or somewhere in the community, I would never get a mammography.’ It is a convenient service that can save the lives of many. Just a few minutes once a year can provide a lifetime of memories to come.”