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Modernizing technology for women's health

Lisa Pasin (third from right) receives the cheque from the Grand Forks Credit Union staff (left to right) Angela Soukoreff, Tracey Lloyd, Tina Flanagan, Angela Fraser, Melodie Davidoff, Debbie Lauzon and CEO Kelly Thomas.; Photo, Mona Mattei

If you could ensure women in the Kootenay Boundary access to mammography with less radiation, better results and the capacity for non-surgical biopsies would you even question the potential?

It’s a clear win situation for the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital Foundation in their quest to purchase digital mammogram equipment. Grand Forks businesses and service organizations agree. That’s why they have contributed $28,500 to make this option a reality for women across the region.

This week, Lisa Pasin, director of development for the foundation, was on hand to receive cheques from the Grand Forks Rotary club ($1,000) and the Grand Forks Credit Union ($5,000).

“In 2010, 1315 mammograms were performed at KBRH, 11 percent were performed on citizens from Christina Lake, Grand Forks, Greenwood and Midway,” explained Pasin. “With the digital mammography initiative we are hoping to support patients and families by providing the gold standard of care right in their communities.”

The total cost of the machine is $950,000 and the foundation has secured $543,231 to date. The Grand Forks Hospital Auxiliary ($10,000), the Kootenay Robusters ($10,000) and the Christina Lake Health Care Auxiliary ($2,500) are the other local organizations that have added to the fund.

“Securing a digital mammography machine with stereotactic capability is very important for our communities because this advancement in diagnostic imaging means fewer invasive procedures for patients and less travel outside our area to receive treatment,” said Pasin.

In traditional mammography the woman is exposed to radiation, and if an abnormality is detected often the only option is to undergo open surgical biopsy or travel away for further testing. The digital process will give high resolution images that allow radiologists to work with more information and to be able to transmit that image to specialists in order to decide treatment. Another feature of the machine is that women are exposed to less radiation and the images detect abnormalities more readily.

With the added stereotactic capability, a biopsy can be performed right away and the method is less invasive, non-surgical, and has no lasting effects.

As the foundation nears its goal, they will submit a request to the West Kootenay Regional Hospital District for up to 40 percent of the funding or $380,000. With close to $550,000 in hand that goal is not far off.

The foundation is committed to completing the funding goal with or without the hospital district and will continue to work to buy the best technology available for the women of the region.

Interested in donating? Contact Lisa Pasin at 1.888.364.3424.