CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Belk, the nation's largest privately operated department store, launches BelkGives On The Go Mobile Mammography in partnership with Charlotte Radiology and Foundation For The Carolinas. This mobile mammography center will bring testing and awareness to all Belk markets with the journey beginning in 116 stores throughout N.C., S.C. and Tenn. Belk's $6 million investment in this program marks the retailer's deep commitment to women's health issues and breast cancer education and is their single largest charitable contribution to date. Belk is the only retailer of its kind to form a partnership alongside community and health organizations by extending breast cancer screening services and increasing breast cancer awareness through its own operation.
"For many years Belk has supported breast cancer awareness and research with specialty products, store grassroots efforts and corporate financial donations," said Tim Belk, chairman and CEO of Belk. "We know we can save lives by increasing awareness for this disease that affects so many of our associate and customer families."
The BelkGives On The Go Mobile Mammography Center will be unveiled at the Belk Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 27 at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., and will hit the road on Jan. 28, 2013.
The BelkGives On The Go Mobile Mammography Center – a 39 foot-long, state-of-the-art screening center on wheels – features a large registration area and private dressing rooms that lead directly into the digital mammography examination room. The BelkGives On The Go Mobile Mammography Center will be on the road 248 days in 2013, spending two days in each Belk market. To fund this program, Belk partnered with Foundation For The Carolinas to establish the Belk Women's Health Fund. This fund will cover all of the costs associated with the Center as well as any out-of-pocket costs to women who are screened at the Center.
"The Belk program is important because early detection saves lives. Early detection gives women more treatment options, including reduced surgery and better cosmetic outcomes, and often reduces the need for harsh chemotherapy," said Dr. Matthew Gromet, Charlotte Radiology physician and section chief of mammography services. "This safe screening tool has contributed to the improved breast cancer mortality rate in the US, which has declined by 30 percent since 1990 when annual screening was introduced."
The Center for Corporate Philanthropy at Foundation For The Carolinas is facilitating the charitable program for Belk, and together they have chosen Charlotte Radiology to manage and deliver high-quality screening mammography in the communities Belk serves. Charlotte Radiology is a national leader in breast health services driven by its mission to educate and empower women to make healthy, smart choices about their breast health.
"We are excited to be involved in Belk's efforts to increase breast cancer education and access to screening mammography," said Dr. Gromet. "And, we are strongly committed to bringing life-saving mammography screenings to communities with limited access."
About the Belk Mobile Mammography Center
The Belk Mobile Mammography Center is staffed by two licensed technologists, certified in mammography. Each exam is interpreted by a board-certified radiologist specialized in breast imaging. Patients and their primary care physician will receive screening results following their exam. All physician and staff services are provided by Charlotte Radiology.
About Belk, Inc.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. (www.belk.com) is the nation's largest privately owned mainline department store company with 301 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states. The company was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., and is in the third generation of Belk family leadership. Its belk.com website offers a wide assortment of fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home. To connect with Belk via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, blog, mobile phone text messages or by email, go to: Belk Get Connected.
About Charlotte Radiology
Established in Charlotte, N.C. in 1967, Charlotte Radiology is one of the largest and most progressive radiology groups in the country with approximately 90 radiologists specialized in areas ranging from breast imaging to pediatric radiology. In addition to offering 24/7 coverage for more than 11 hospitals, the practice operates 13 breast centers, two vascular and interventional clinics and jointly owns and reads for Carolinas Imaging Services. In February 2011, Charlotte Radiology launched its mobile breast services across five counties in the greater Charlotte region. Today, two mobile units travel some 2,000 miles each month to bring early breast cancer screenings and detection closer to where women live and work. The Belk Mobile Mammography Center will serve close to 6,000 women throughout N.C., S.C. and Tenn. Accredited by the American College of Radiology, certified by the FDA and recognized as a Breast Center of Excellence, Charlotte Radiology is a national advocate for breast health awareness, collaborating with community partners and foundations to educate women about the importance of early breast cancer detection. Serving more than 100,000 women per year, Charlotte Radiology provides compassionate care, state-of-the-art care including digital mammography, breast MRI and computer-aided detection. Learn more online at www.charlotteradiology.com. To connect with Charlotte Radiology via Facebook, go to: www.facebook.com/CharlotteRadiology.
About Foundation For The Carolinas
Foundation For The Carolinas is a nonprofit community foundation serving donors and a broad range of charitable purposes in North and South Carolina. With assets of nearly $960 million, the Foundation encourages and makes possible philanthropic giving by individuals of all means to benefit their communities. Visit www.fftc.org.
SOURCE Belk, Inc.