The Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network launched a project Friday to raise $1.5 million for a Women’s Imaging Center at Bassett Medical Center. It began with a breakfast at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown for past and prospective donors.
The project includes the purchase of new equipment and advanced technology to replace existing equipment. The renovation and reconfiguration of the current space at the medical center where the imaging is now done is also included. Dr. Caridad Fuertes, a radiologist specializing in breast imaging, spoke on the importance of the project for women’s health at the morning session.
Speaking later in the day, Fuertes said “we were well received, everybody seemed to be quite excited about it.”
The current facility offers quality care, she said, but the project is needed because some of the existing equipment is nearing the end of service. Other items are state of the art in a field that can change very quickly, she said.
In the last three to four years, the service changed from using film to 2D digital mammography. While the plans call for new 2D full field equipment, it will also provide 3D digital mammography equipment that allows for enhanced visualization and better cancer detection, she said.
Other items include: additional ultrasound equipment dedicated for breast imaging; new stereotactic biopsy equipment to aid in diagnosing breast lesions; and the addition of a nurse navigator to act as a patient advocate, guiding women through the breast imaging process, educating them and following-up post procedure to address questions and concerns.
When completed it will make sure area women will continue to receive state of the art care, she said.
“It was gratifying to see such strong support expressed at the kick off for this fundraising campaign,” said Michael Stein, vice president of development and The Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network. “It’s clear that we’ve touched a chord with so many people who’ve been impacted in some way by breast cancer. The Women’s Imaging Center will provide important services to the rural region Bassett serves, but we first need to raise the $1.5 million it will take to renovate the space and purchase the technology.I look forward to achieving that goal in the coming months.”
Project plans call for a Dec. 2014 opening of the new center.
Those wishing to support the project may contact The Friends of Bassett at 547-3928.