Donor support integral for new Women’s Center
Private donors and foundations played an important role supporting the new Women’s Center at the LMH Health West Campus. The center is focused on being a convenient, consumer-friendly and patient-first environment. This includes a new breast center with 3D mammography and ultrasound equipment, an on-site breast nurse-navigator, an on-site breast surgeon, plastic surgeons and reconstructive services, an OB-GYN presence and a pelvic health clinic.
The LMH Health Women's Center is conveniently located at 6265 Rock Chalk Drive at the new LMH Health West Campus.
A generous gift from Jeff and Mary Weinberg and the Jedel Family Foundation supported the purchase of 3D mammography machines. Studies have found that 3D mammography, the newest type of breast imaging, helps radiologists find more cancers than a standard digital mammogram.
“We know this hospital is an important resource for our community,” said Jeff Weinberg, a member of the LMH Health Foundation Board of Directors. “When we learned of the plans for the west facility, we decided immediately that we wanted to help the new breast center.”
3D mammography makes a difference
This imaging equipment ensures the most powerful and up-to-date methodologies for early cancer detection and diagnostics are available at the breast center. The use of 3D mammography at LMH Health should make a difference in the detection rate of breast cancer among patients.
“I also personally believe we’re going to catch it earlier,” said Dr. Richard Kuckelman, an LMH Health radiologist.
The 3D mammograms allow physicians to examine breast tissue layer by layer. Julie Anno, mammography supervisor at the LMH Health Women’s Center, compares the use of CT scans or MRIs – both 2D imaging technologies – to looking at a closed book.
“With 3D imaging,” she said, “it’s like opening the book and flipping through the pages.”
That means that radiologists such as Dr. Kuckelman can better determine what potentially is cancerous and what is not.
“I think we’re going to have fewer false negatives, and that’s a lot less anxiety for patients,” he said.
LMH Health follows the American College of Radiology guidelines encouraging all women to have a screening mammogram every year, starting at age 40. According to Dr. Kuckelman and Anno, 3D mammograms can be helpful for many women.
“The denser the breast tissue is, the more value the 3D has,” Anno said.
The 3D technology also benefits women who have fibrous tissue containing cysts. In addition, 3D images for women who have tremors, such as those from Parkinson’s disease, will be much clearer.
And then, there are those detection rates.
“We’ve had several cases so far where we have seen a small cancer in 3D that was silent on 2D,” Dr. Kuckelman said. “You couldn’t see it. It wasn’t visible on 2D.”
Dr. Jodie Barr, an NCI-trained oncologist at LMH Health, said she’s pleased LMH Health offers 3D mammography to patients.
“Not only does 3D mammography increase the rates of cancer detection, but it may also decrease the false negative rate,” she said. “This technology is especially useful in our patients with dense breasts or who are at high risk for breast cancer.”
Personal experiences spur support
Jeff Weinberg said that his family has benefited from extraordinary care at LMH Health over many years. “Places like LMH Health provide so much to the people who live in the Lawrence area, and we are pleased to support these efforts in any way that we can,” he said.
Dr. Richard Orchard, an LMH Health ophthalmologist for 33 years, and his wife, Georgia, also made a gift to support the breast health center. The couple felt compelled to donate in gratitude for Georgia’s breast cancer treatment in 2014.
“Georgia received excellent care from Dr. Sherri Soule and the surgeons, radiologists, nurses and even the volunteers — they all just did a great job taking care of her,” Orchard said. “We’re lucky to have a top-notch community hospital in Lawrence.”
Before his retirement, Orchard served as chief of staff at LMH Health and as a member of the LMH Health Foundation board of directors for six years.
“I’ve always felt that physicians need to work with the hospital with regard to the development of healthcare in the community,” Orchard said. “Physicians, hospitals and even private enterprises need to work together.”
Healthcare in the United States can come at a staggering cost to patients. As a community-owned, not-for-profit hospital, LMH Health serves the health care needs of the community regardless of an individual’s ability to pay, at the women’s center as well as in all of our facilities. Each year, LMH Health provides $25 million in charitable care.
“This is a community hospital that has a charitable mission worth millions of dollars,” said Rebecca Smith, executive director of the LMH Health Foundation. “That’s why LMH Health is different. That’s why it matters, and that’s why people care about it.”
LMH Health Foundation, through funds raised via the bi-annual oncology fundraiser Rock the Block – Kick Cancer, offers vouchers to cover the costs of mammogram and breast biopsies. To learn how you can receive a voucher, please call LMH Health Patient Accounts at 785-505-5775.
For more information or to schedule a mammogram call 785-505-3300.