County health authorities in Los Angeles run seven breast cancer screening facilities.
New York City has 11.
The Cook County hospital system runs two, and owns a pair of mobile mammography vans with rusting bodies and equipment so outdated that officials say it's not worth using.
As a result, advocates say, many women go without screenings. When they do make it to one of Cook County's two facilities, they often find there is a wait time that can run as long as a year.
"What we're finding is that women have significant access barriers to get the required screenings and treatments they need," says Marie Gilliam, executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Breast Cancer Task Force.
One of the county's facilities is at Provident Hospital. The other is the Jorge Prieto Family Health Clinic, 2424 S. Pulaski.
The county also contracts with Melrose Park's Westlake Hospital to provide screenings.
The lack of publicly funded breast cancer treatment and screening for women may figure prominently in the Cook County Health and Hospital System's effort to hash out a long-term strategic plan."Part of the agenda," says health system chief operating officer David Small, is "how to provide greater access to service. The system board has a real interest in mammogram services in general."
Read the full story at the Chi-Town Daily News.