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HAMC installs digital mammogram machine

By Staff | Apr 1, 2011

The digital mammography machine has arrived at the Heart of America Medical Center (HAMC) in Rugby. Mammograms on the new equipment will begin on Wednesday, April 6. Mammograms can be scheduled by referral from the primary care physician and will be administered Mondays through Fridays at HAMC.

This newest technology for early detection of breast cancer was purchased with a $432,052 grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The grant was presented to Heart of America Medical Center earlier this year to upgrade its mammography services, create a special room for this service and create a patient waiting room.

“I’m just delighted we can bring state-of-the-art technology to Rugby and the rural area,” said Jeff Lingerfelt, CEO/president, HAMC.

Paul Schaan, Good Samaritan Health Services Foundation, who wrote the grant was pleased, as well.

“Given the scope of the grant awarded, I really appreciate the vision that the Helmsley Charitable Trust has in bringing these kinds of resources to our rural areas,” said Schaan.

The digital mammogram differs from the analog mammogram that women are used to receiving in that the image is immediately present on the screen and it can be adjusted to present a clearer image. A patient may have a questionable result and the radiologist can be consulted immediately, read the image, ask for another shot at a different angle and get a clearer picture, while the patient waits.

“Instant communication between radiologist and technologist is valuable,” added Schaan.

The machine arrived on Tuesday, March 29 and was installed in place in the room designed for it with the patients’ needs in mind.

“It’s going to be different than any other room in the hospital,” said Jillian Lagasse, media specialist, HAMC.

“Both the analog and digital methods of mammography are considered good tools to use to evaluate the patient,” said Kirk Seaver, director, Radiology Dept, HAMC. “It just adds a dimension to be able to tweak and adjust the image. We are now totally in the digital world.”

In addition, money has been set aside from the grant to promote and inform women of this technology so that more women will take advantage of the early detection digital method.

Residents need to mark their calendars for an Open House at HAMC radiology on Tuesday, May 10 from 7-9 p.m. Tours and refreshments will be available.

The Rural Healthcare Program of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aims to meet the needs of rural Americans in the upper Midwest by funding programs that deliver high quality healthcare close to home, according to information provided by the charitable trust.

The Trust which was established in 1999, is administered by trustees selected by Leona Helmsley as a continuation of Mr. and Mrs. Helmsley’s generous giving throughout their life times. The Trust supports a diverse range of organizations with a major focus on health and medical research., in addition to programs in human services, education and conservation. A total of six rural hospitals in North Dakota received funds from this Trust to upgrade their mammography technology.

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