Regina promotes its monthly parties through newspaper ads, online, and with flyers placed in the offices of doctors affiliated with the hospital. Word-of-mouth also helps and the events seem to be generating a positive buzz as attendance grows.
"We had four women at our first event last November and we've had six at each one since, which is our maximum," said Misencik.
The parties are also reaching an important demographic: women who haven't had a mammogram in many years. "We're finding that many women who come to these events have gone as long as eight years since their last mammogram, so that's gratifying to hear because those are the women we want to reach," said Misencik.
The idea of mammogram parties has been around for several years. Misencik says Regina got the idea from St. Francis Regional Medical Center in nearby Shakopee, which has been hosting them since 2008. "We did check out what they were doing before we started our events," said Misencik.
Other hospitals and radiology centers throughout the U.S. are making mammogram events a regular part of their business. Premier Radiology in Tennessee has been holding mammogram parties at many of its locations since 2009. The Wichita Clinic in Kansas stages monthly events that attract 10 to 15 women and include spa treatments and other amenities. And Barnwell County Hospital in South Carolina began holding its parties last October as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and has made them a regular event.
"In the company of others, who feel the same way you do, you can have a mammogram and take comfort and support in each other's company," said Barnwell CEO Mary Valiant.