HSHS Sacred Heart Foundation and HSHS St. Joseph’s Foundations are excited to announce that today Charter Bank gifted $400,000 to help fund a mobile mammography bus that will travel to rural areas and outlying clinics to bring much-needed imaging services to women in those areas.
“We are incredibly grateful for this generous gift from Charter Bank,” said Andrew Bagnall, president and CEO, HSHS Western Wisconsin Division, which includes HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “Because of our mission, we have an obligation to create better access to high-level mammography services, resulting in earlier detection which saves lives.”
A mobile mammography unit is the most effective way for HSHS to provide advanced imaging to women who may not have the opportunity to travel for this type of service. The mobile mammography bus is expected to serve at least 2,500 women annually in our outlying communities.
“Charter Bank is committed to the health and well-being of this region,” said Paul Kohler, president and CEO, Charter Bank. “We know that early detection saves lives, and we know that there are women who are not currently accessing this screening. We want to be part of the solution to provide more birthdays, more anniversaries, and more celebrations.”
Of more than 123,000 women in a 60-mile radius of HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals who are eligible for mammography screenings, fewer than 25 percent are anticipated to receive those screenings. According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. This would mean that 12,000 women in our area will potentially miss early detection and either have or develop breast cancer, but wouldn’t make this discovery until it has developed to an advanced stage.
“Early detection continues to be the best defense against breast cancer,” said Ken Brown, director of imaging services for HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “The ability to take this technology to women outside of the medical facility and to their location will increase the opportunity for women to access screening mammograms easily.”
The mobile mammography unit is scheduled to begin operation in spring 2020 and will make regular visits to communities with Prevea Health clinics, including Rice Lake, Ladysmith, Cornell, Menomonie, Mondovi and Arcadia.
Both hospital Foundations are currently looking for additional donors for this project. For more information, visit www.sacredhearteauclaire.org/Giving or www.stjoeschipfalls.org/Giving.