The Pawnee Valley Community Hospital Foundation has successfully achieved its goal of raising $300,000 as part of the 3D mammography campaign that began in October 2019. The campaign goal, through the generosity of donors, business leaders, grateful patients, friends of the foundation and foundation trustees, was reached in record time of less than a year.
“I was humbled and pleasantly surprised the fundraising went so quickly, especially because of COVID-19 and canceled fundraisers,” said Julie Bugner-Smith, director of the Pawnee Valley Community Hospital Foundation. “Raising approximately $300,000 ahead of schedule speaks volumes about our community. Local and area residents saved the hospital several years ago and remain invested in providing the best of the best in healthcare services.
“Backing from the community is at the forefront of Pawnee Valley Campus being able to offer high-tech services,” she continued. “The foundation’s support from the community and the substantial gift from Lewis Young is deeply appreciated.”
The generosity of the Larned-area community will result in the earlier-than-expected arrival of new 3D mammography equipment, said Shelly Stanton, director of imaging at The University of Kansas Health System Pawnee Valley Campus.
“Our hospital is extremely blessed and so grateful for generous donations and community support through the years,” Stanton said. “Pawnee Valley Campus wouldn’t be here without the support of everyone who chooses our services, as well as our benefactors who donate time and money. We are thriving and offering state-of-the-art equipment because of our community.”
The new technology will arrive this fall, but the hospital will continue using the 2D equipment until the 3D unit is installed. Originally, the equipment wasn’t expected until late in 2021.
“We want the least amount of service interruption as possible,” Stanton commented. “We anticipate about two weeks of downtime for installation, physics testing and training.”
3D mammography takes images in slices, allowing radiologists to see layers of tissue separately. This makes 3D superior for women with dense breast tissue and allows for detection of 20-60 percent more invasive cancers.
“The new machine’s ability to distinguish different tissues results in fewer false positives,” Stanton noted. “And this, of course, means fewer patients have to return for follow-up testing. Mammography is so important because it can detect cancers as small as a grain of sand – long before they are big enough to be felt during a self-exam. Finding cancers early saves lives and helps prevent more extensive treatments.”
This new addition to the hospital illustrates that “we strive to provide the most advanced imaging equipment,” Stanton added. “Patients can be screened locally and know they are not compromising their care in any way. We realize patients have choices. But choosing Pawnee Valley Campus’ top-of-line equipment and professional staff can reduce travel time, expense and stress.”
The American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging recommend annual mammograms beginning at age 40.
Women of higher-than-average risk because of family history should start earlier, also according to the ACR. Supplemental screenings, such as breast MRI and ultrasound, may also be considered. Treatment is determined on an individual basis.a