Lauchwood Dr., Laurinburg, North Carolina 28352
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Karen Gainey, Marketing Coordinator
Phone: 910-291-7550 FAX: 910-291-7996
June 30, 2009
Thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Scotland Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, the hospital's Imaging Center has purchased a new, FDA approved, digitizer to aid in the comparison of older analog mammogram films and the new digital mammogram studies.
Scott Hees, MD, chief radiologist, explains the purpose of the digitizer. "Purchasing this new digitizer allows us to be so much more efficient when viewing mammography studies. Scotland Memorial is on the cutting edge with this purchase; even some of the other hospitals around us do not have this equipment, most don't even have digital mammography. The digitizer is basically a copier of film mammograms, converting them to a digital version which is then used in the comparison of the newer digital mammogram studies.
"I want to reassure our patients that the quality of the digitized film compared to a new digital mammogram is just as good," Dr. Hees added. "Scotland Memorial Hospital does approximately 4,500 mammography studies each year. It can be time consuming for the radiologist to compare a film mammogram and a digital image. But, by digitizing old films, our mammography turnaround time has improved and we are able to make a better comparison. It is very beneficial to our work flow and we are very appreciative of the Auxiliary's gift to our department to aid in this purchase. "
Digitizing old films offers the radiologist the capability to immediately send the old and new mammography studies to sub-specialists at Charlotte Radiology who specialize in breast images for further review if necessary. It also allows physicians in the area to view the new and older mammograms as well. Digitized studies can be stored for many years, enabling us to be more efficient as well as more cost effective. Patients don't have to wait while old films are found or mailed from other locations. The patient is the winner in all this - it's more cost effective and less time is spent in the mammography suite waiting while the radiologist ensures the mammography study is acceptable.
Ruth Bisbee, President of the Scotland Memorial Auxiliary, presented the $25,000 check to Zim Townsend, Director of Scotland Memorial's Imaging Services. She stated, "We are delighted to be able to contribute toward the purchase of this equipment. The women of our community who come to us for mammograms are the beneficiaries. Since the installation of the new digital mammography equipment in the Outpatient Imaging Center, mammograms on Scotty are no longer available. However, we still wanted to be a part of providing quality mammograms at our hospital and to support our imaging services."
The Auxiliary has given back to the health care system approximately $68,540 just in this fiscal year from the funds raised through the hospital gift shop and various specialty sales throughout the year. In addition, the volunteers have provided 15,363 hours of work this fiscal year, which is comparable to $303,730.86 in paid staff positions.
Zim Townsend added, "Our radiologists are delighted with the new equipment. We have wanted a digitizer for several years but it's only recently that the technology has improved enough that the FDA would approve its use in mammography studies."
Mr. Townsend also added that Breast MRI will be added in the near future to the Imaging Department's array of services. "Breast MRI is the latest technology for breast cancer detection. Currently, approximately 12-15 women per month have to go outside our community to obtain a Breast MRI. So, when the equipment arrives later this fall, our comprehensive breast program here at Scotland Memorial will take a giant leap forward. All of these pieces - digital mammography, the digitizer, and the Breast MRI - go together to ensure we can provide the best in mammography care and breast cancer detection."
For more information about mammography studies, contact the Outpatient Imaging Center at 910-291-7738.
Scotland Health Care System is a community owned, not-for-profit health care system located in Laurinburg, North Carolina. The 154-bed system is comprised of the 104-bed Scotland Memorial Hospital, the 50-bed Edwin Morgan Center, Scotland Memorial Foundation, and Hospice of Scotland County. The Health Care System also owns and operates four primary care facilities, a general surgery practice and an ob/gyn practice.
With more than 1,000 employees, Scotland Health Care System is Scotland County's largest, non-governmental, private employer. Its medical staff includes 67 physicians representing many medical specialties. Scotland Memorial Hospital is ranked in the top ten percent in North Carolina for Surgical Care. In 2008, the Health Care System contributed more than $25 million in charity care to the community.
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