With its equipment close to being outdated and its facility in need of an enlargement, Bassett Medical Center began a $1.5 million fundraising campaign for a new Women’s Imaging Center on Aug. 9 at the Otesaga.
The money will pay for several new pieces of equipment for breast cancer screenings including a 2D full field digital mammography machine, an advanced 3D (Tomosynthesis) machine, an ultrasound machine that won’t be shared with another department and new stereotactic biopsy equipment. Currently the center does not have a 3D machine and shares the ultrasound equipment with the gynecology department.
In addition, the money will fund a nurse navigator position, update the computer system needed to provide quick results and notifications, and help renovate the Women’s Imaging Center on the T2 level of the clinic building. The nurse navigator would be an ambassador for the program, greeting all patients and helping them through all the stages in the department, from examination through diagnosis.
The Bassett plans call for the new equipment to be purchased and the center to be renovated by December of 2014.
“We are ready for creating not just good quality service, but a great experience for people when they are going through a tough time,” Scott Bonderoff, vice president for Patient Services, said.
According to Bonderoff, the technology in radiology changes and needs upgrades as quickly, if not quicker, than any other field in medicine.
“To give you an example, when I started here in 2006, we had a very good imaging machine. It gave you 16 slices per rotation, as we say in the terminology. Two years later, we upgraded to a machine that was 64 slices. Now we are shopping for one that does 256 slices. So you see the equipment we use is very quickly out of date,” he said.
In addition to the machines, the intention of the new center is to provide a warm, friendly environment for women while they are going through a difficult and scary time in their lives, said Caridad Fuertes, the doctor who is the Breast Image Section Chief.