SIDNEY — The campaign slogan — “The Future is Clear” — has changed to “The Future is Now” for the new 3D mammogram units at the Francis Women’s Center at Wilson Health.
Two units were installed in September, just prior to Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
Honda of American was honored Thursday morning as the corporate donation to put the $1.2 million campaign “over the hump” to becoming a reality. The campaigned was launched in October 2018. Honda’s corporate charitable fund donated $100,000 to the campaign.
“We knew breast cancer was an issue in Shelby County, ” said Karla Young, Wilson Health Foundation executive director. “It was often caught too late.
“The 3D mammogram can catch it much earlier stage,” she said. “Honda was one of our most significant donations. When we received the donation, we were able to purchase the machines.”
Brian Scheid, director of imaging services, said the technologists in the department asked him or Young on a daily basis, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
And with the final few donations, the technologists were given a “yes” answer.
“We really appreciate Honda stepping up and putting us ‘over the hump’,” said Scheid. “The technologists were on edge from day one (of the campaign).”
In addition to the 3D machines, a biopsy table also uses the 3D technology for the biopsying suspicious lumps or areas.
In addition to corporate donations, Wilson Health also ran an employee campaign to raise funds for the 3D machines. Families also donated money, said Young.
Paul Dentinger, Honda of America Mfg. vice president and chief engineer and Honda of American Mfg. Foundation member, said it was important for the company to support the health and well being of their employees. The donation for the 3D machines is one way the company could acc0mplish their goal.
“”There has been some great, hard work by Wilson Health in the part they play in the fight against breast cancer,” said Dentinger.
“Half of our associates are female,” said Pam Heminger, Honda of America Mfg. vice president/Honda of America Mfg. Foundation member.
Women seeking a mammogram, said Scheid, can self-refer themselves for the process.
“We ask that they have a physician so the results can be sent to them (physician),” said Scheid. “We have a large portion of the mammograms who are self-referred.”
Scheid said the No. 1 reason women don’t get a mammogram is the fear of receiving a cancer diagnosis.
“One in eight women will be diagnosed with the disease,” he said. “The 3D is much better because we get more accurate pictures.”
The 3D technology has resulted in a reduction of callbacks where an additional mammogram is needed because the first scan from the 2D machine wasn’t clear enough.
Another factor was the pain involved with a mammogram.
“With the new technology, there’s a curved paddle being used,” said Scheid. “A man must have created the first paddle because it’s flat.
“So the curved paddle means there’s less pain for the patient,” he said. “It’s never going to be pain free but it will be less painful.”
The 3D mammogram creates photo layers of the breast which makes it easier to detect a mass.
“The women are making a decision of what kind of care they can get,” aid Scheid. “They want to come to Wilson and have the best care possible.”
Wilson Health President and CEO Mark Klosterman thanked Honda for the donation and support of the hospital.
Carla Greene, a Honda of America employee, is also a breast cancer survivor. While she wasn’t treated at Wilson, she wanted to attend Thursday’s event to see how her company was supporting women in Shelby County.
“In January I turned 40,” said Greene. “So I began my preventative care with a mammogram.”
She had a 3D mammogram, which caught something on her breast’s chest wall.
“Without the 3D image, it wouldn’t have been caught,” said Greene. “I’m proud to say I’m a survivor. Mine was a stage zero.”
The Honda officials took a tour to view the new 3D mammography machines. Tina Bryant, an E-ray technologist, has been with the hospital for almost 27 years. She has seen many changes in the technology for mammograms.
When she started at Wilson Health, film was used for mammograms. Once the picture was taken, the film had to be developed for it to be read.
Then the hospital went to 2D imaging machines and in 2019 added the 3D imaging machines.
The new technology, she said, allows for the scan to be completed in slices so the breast can be seen in 3D.
“It’s more comfortable and more forgiving than the flat paddles,” she said. “Women are not as reluctant to have it done and there are less call backs with the 3D imaging.”
the machine she said, does sweeps at 7 1/2 degrees to create a picture of the breast.
“It takes the same amount of time (as the 2D scan),” she said. “It goes in layers through the tissue.”
After the scan, the radiologist looks at it. If anything out of the normal is seen, the patient receives a callback to have another scan or biopsy performed.
Dr. David Brown, Riverside radiologist, is one of the three radiologists at Wilson Health.
“The equipment is state-of-the-art,” said Brown. “The Women’s Center is set apart from the rest of the hospital. They can get everything done without leaving the Women’s Center.”
Scheid said in 2018, 4,000 mammograms were performed. In October 2019, after the 3D machine was installed 700 were done in that month along.
“We continue to be busy,” said Bryant. “We’re seeing new patients and returning patients.”
Most insurances, said Scheid, will pay for 3D mammograms. Wilson Health does have funds available through the Monarch Legacy grant program for people who unemployed or underemployed.
Reach the writer at 937-539-4822.