Greg Starnes, chief executive officer of Fayette County Hospital and Long Term Care, announced recently that the hospital has begun raising funds to purchase a new digital mammography machine for the hospital.
The hospital hopes to raise $300,000 through a fundraising campaign titled, "Keep Abreast; Go Digital!"
“We really need to have digital mammography capability," Starnes said. "Many women, as well as some physicians, prefer digital over analog. Our mammography service is accredited by the American College of Radiologists, which means that it has passed very rigorous testing with the machine we now use.
"However, as more and more of our diagnostics become digitized, and as we progress toward electronic medical records, it is imperative that we procure a digital mammography machine.”
Quotes have been obtained by the hospital, and the cost to purchase and implement digital mammography technology will be about $300,000. Last year, the hospital purchased a new CT scanner and related equipment that cost more than $350,000.
“New technology is very expensive; that is one reason health care costs are so high," Starnes said.
"Digital mammography affords the ability to better (than analog) penetrate dense tissue and manipulate images by zooming in or adjusting contrast, which is good if there is a suspicious calcification or mass,” said Dr. Patricia Whitworth, medical director of radiology services at FCH.
Cheri Wolff, radiology services manager, added: “With digital mammography, the results will be almost instant. We won’t have to wait to develop film for the doctor to study. Our patients can get their mammograms completed more quickly.”
The hospital, along with its Friends & Families Foundation and hospital auxiliary, will be working for the next several months to raise the needed money. Opportunities to contribute will be extended to the community, and various fundraising events are planned.
Anyone wishing to assist in the project may make contributions through the Friends and Families Foundation of Fayette County Hospital, the Fayette County Hospital Auxiliary or by contacting Starnes or Heather Wall in the administration office at 283-5400 or 283-5401.
Individuals or groups interested in helping with the hospital’s campaign by organizing events are encouraged to do so, and are asked to contact Starnes or Wall at the above numbers.