Archive for Friday, October 15, 2004

LMH to open $400K Breast Center

October 15, 2004


Lawrence Memorial Hospital officials will build a $400,000 center to make it easier for area women to receive mammograms and other tests to detect breast cancer.

LMH officials said they expected the Breast Center to open in December. It will be near the hospital's east entrance in an 1,800-square-foot space previously occupied by a home-health supply store. LMH officials announced the new center as part of efforts to promote October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Today is National Mammography Day.

"We're trying to create a center that will coordinate the testing and treatment processes to make it easier on our patients," said Janice Early-Weas, director of community relations for the hospital.

Currently, women who have mammograms at the hospital are served through LMH's radiology department. Sheryle D'Amico, LMH's director of oncology, said the new center would allow patients to deal with staff members who specialize in mammograms and early detection of breast cancer.

D'Amico said she hoped the new center also would help ease some of the fears that women have about receiving a mammogram.

"We wanted to create an environment that is relaxed and comfortable for patients," D'Amico said.

The center will have six full-time staff members, including a clinical coordinator who will help physicians and patients schedule appointments and navigate women through each step of the process.

"We thought it was important to have someone who will serve as your guide or your advocate," Early-Weas said. "It will put all the information you need in one spot."

The center will feature a new mammogram machine and a new $180,000 computer-aided detection device, which is a computer that examines mammogram films for warning signs that may go undetected by the human eye.

LMH officials estimate only 30 percent of women who should regularly have a breast exam are doing so at the hospital. D'Amico said the new center would focus on getting the word out to women that breast cancer is a highly treatable disease if detected early.

"We made education a critical part of the coordinator's job description," D'Amico said. "Basically, we're saying that we'll speak about this subject at the drop of a hat."

Lawrence Memorial Hospital's Stepping Out Against Breast Cancer Benefit Dance will be from 8 p.m. to midnight Oct. 23 at the Lawrence Holidome, 200 McDonald Drive. The dance will feature the Benders, a band from Wichita that plays '50s and '60s songs.The 12th annual event will raise funds to provide mammogram screenings for indigent women and to furnish the hospital's new Breast Center, which will open in December.Tickets for the event are $25. They can be purchased at the LMH Gift Shop or at the dance. For more information, call 840-2830.

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