Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Use of the ScanVan for Tuberculosis and Breast Cancer Screening Among Poor and Homeless New Yorkers

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

September 20, 2007







Low-income, minority, and homeless people in New York City suffer from health problems at far greater rates than the population as a whole. A high incidence of breast cancer and tuberculosis exists among this population, yet many individuals lack access to standard of care procedures for these illnesses, including mammography screenings, breast health education services and chest x-rays. In 2007, Project Renewal and the City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Department of Homeless Services responded to this gap in care by launching The Scan Van, a mobile mammography and tuberculosis screening clinic serving people living in New York City’s homeless shelters and other very low-income individuals. NYHealth awarded Project Renewal a grant to partially support ongoing operations of The ScanVan for its first two years.

The ScanVan will serve the poor and homeless population throughout the five boroughs, performing mammograms and clinical breast exams to screen for cancer, and tuberculin skin tests, and chest X-rays to screen for tuberculosis. Project Renewal will initiate follow-up treatment for all positive screenings.

The program will serve 20–25 patients per day, amounting to 5,000 patients annually. Funding for the ScanVan’s first two years of service will enable Project Renewal to demonstrate the effectiveness of the program, which has strong potential to obtain sustainable government funding. Because reimbursements from Medicaid and the Healthy Women Partnership program will not entirely cover the program’s expenses, supplementary funding is essential to its sustainability. The 40-foot ScanVan—licensed by Federal, State, and city health agencies—will feature:

  • an X-ray room equipped with a Canon CXDI 50G digital radiography system;
  • a mammography room equipped with a G.E. Performa mammography machine; and
  • an exam room equipped for clinical breast exams and tuberculin skin tests.