Big Upgrade for Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s Imaging Department
The new machine was purchased thanks to more than $500,000 in generous donations from local individuals, and organizations made to VJH Foundation’s Take a Picture campaign. Funding was also provided by the regional hospital district.
“It’s astounding the level of generosity the people in this area have,” said Sue Beaudry, Director of Development, VJH Foundation. “Without their donations, the purchase of this machine would have never been possible.”
The digital unit replaces an older analogue mammography system which annually performed nearly 7,000 screenings and 3,500 diagnostic examinations on residents in the North Okanagan, Revelstoke, Shuswap, Lake Country and Nakusp. The new state-of-the-art system enables sending real-time electronic images to any electronic address. It also reduces the amount of radiation patients are subject to while enhancing the ability to detect micro lesions thanks to higher quality resolution.
“The technological improvement of this digital machine over the previous analogue machine allows us to complete much more testing here without the need to send patients away,” said VJH radiologist Dr. Glenn Scheske. “It also results in quicker turnaround times allowing us to see more patients… it’s really remarkable.”
Some of the top contributors for the purchase of the unit were the Wine, Women and Woods Golf Tournament, who surpassed their initial fundraising goal of $100,000, Coldstream Women’s Institute, VantageOne Bollywood Bang event, and Vernon Rowing and Padding Association’s Annual Prospera Vernon Dragon Boat Festival.
VJH Foundation held a special donor recognition event to mark the official opening of the new device on April 24, 2015.
How Digital Mammography Came to VJH
A 10-year-old girl stays awake until the early hours, busily turning out dozens of bracelets and accessories on her crafting loom. She encourages her classmates to help and creates a school fundraiser to fight cancer.
Through a torrent of rain, clapping thunder and dark skies illuminated by lightning, teams of dragon boaters race in unison and unity in the warm waters of Kalamalka Lake, raising funds to battle breast cancer.
A procession of pink hits the green as costumed female foursomes converge each fall at Predator Ridge to raise a magnitude of funds for women’s health care.
From the mysteries of the East, to an Okanagan beach, from on-stage to behind the scenes, caring community members took part in golf tournaments, concerts, special events and personal giving to bring new digital mammography technology to VJH.
The ‘Take A Picture Campaign’ to raise $428,400 towards a digital mammography unit was launched in the spring of 2013. Community members responded by giving their time, talents and monetary gifts to make the campaign a success.
The much-needed digital machine will replace the old mammography unit which annually performs nearly 7,000 screenings and 3,500 diagnostic examinations on residents in the North Okanagan, Revelstoke, Shuswap, Lake Country and Nakusp.
Mammography is the final area within the VJH Imaging Department to transition to digital technology. With the new equipment, technicians can immediately view the image and reshoot if necessary for the best result. Renovations to the department will begin late this year, with equipment installation and staff training to take place in early 2015.
Thanks to the caring community businesses, organizations and individuals for helping to bring digital mammography to VJH in 2015!
Many individuals, organizations and events were involved in helping raise funds for this project. Due to space and conditions of anonymity, we are acknowledging the following groups and events for their commitment to digital mammography at VJH:
Alpha Epsilon Master Beta Sigma Phi
Coldstream Women’s Institute
Jane Richardson’s Swim Across the Lake
Ladies of the Okanagan Charity Golf Tournament at The Rise
The Longhorn Pub – Rock for Care
Vernon Rowing and Paddling Association’s 4th Annual Prospera Vernon Dragon Boat Festival
Silver Star Elementary School Rainbow Loom Craft Sale by Ashley & Lina
Tapestry Women’s Choir – Calendar Girls Pin Up Calendar
VantageOne Bollywood Bang
Vernon Women’s Wednesday Afternoon Bridge Club
Wine, Women & Woods Tee-Off For the Cure in partnership with
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation BC/Yukon
Vernon Bosom Buddies
In 2013, the current mammography unit performed 6,700 screening and 3,500 diagnostic examinations on women living in the North Okanagan, and Shuswap and Nakusp areas. Our hospital’s equipment is experiencing mechanical problems and replacement parts for repairs are becoming more difficult to find.
Upgrading to digital technology from analogue, will bring quicker results, clearer pictures of breast tissue and reduced film and processing costs, resulting in the saving of valuable health care dollars. New equipment will ensure that women have their screening, and more critically, their follow up diagnostic exams, in a timely manner.
Over the past three years and thanks to the hard work of the organizing committees of Wine Women and Woods key pieces of supporting equipment have already been purchased and are in use. The remaining cost of this project is just over $700,000 for the Digital Mammography machine itself. Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation has committed to funding $428,400 of the project cost and the balance will come from the Hospital District.
Why Digital mammography? It provides an immediate image for a technician to view and therefore, if the angle is incorrect or it’s inconclusive, they can immediately re-shoot the image for a better result. In the case of analog film it must be developed and may result in a call back for the patient to take a second image. This can cause undue stress and anxiety for the patient.
Though anecdotal, Senior Director of Health Promotion & Communications Elaine Webb for Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation—BC & Yukon noted that Radiologists can easily transfer digital images via email to colleagues in other parts of the province to seek a second opinion, resulting in quicker outcomes for a patient.
Community support for this urgent initiative will make the dream of digital mammography a reality for local patients.