SEMC awarded $39,000 through the Rural Hospital Planning and Transition Grant Program to assist in purchase of 3D mammography software.

The Minnesota Department of Health recently awarded Sleepy Eye Medical Center $39,000 through the Rural Hospital Planning and Transition Grant Program to assist in funding the purchase of 3D mammography software in 2018.

“We’re ecstatic to have been awarded this grant, mainly because of what it means for our patients,” said Kevin Sellheim, SEMC Administrator. “The upgrade from 2D to 3D mammography software is costly at approximately $220,000. This award will aid in its purchase.”

Sellheim added it is SEMC’s priority to provide patients with high quality care and access to new technology. “Three-dimensional tomography (3D mammography) is quickly becoming the new standard of care in detecting breast cancers,” said Sellheim.

According to Megan Green, Radiology Manager at SEMC, breast tomosynthesis produces 3-dimensional images intended to show the breast free from distortion caused by tissue shadowing, density and superimposition.

“Currently when patients are called back due to abnormal or inconclusive imaging, we refer them to outside facilities for follow-up imaging, including 3D diagnostic views. Occasionally, the wait to get in for diagnostic imaging can be up to two weeks, prolonging the anxiety of results,” said Green.

Three-dimensional mammography has been clinically shown to decrease call backs and detect cancers earlier in women. With the upgrade, SEMC anticipates increased patient satisfaction by reducing the number of women called back for additional imaging and referrals to outside facilities.

“The ultimate goal is to detect breast cancers as early as possible, giving breast cancer patients the best chance of survival,” added Green.

To help fund the upgrade, SEMC intends to raise additional moneys through various fundraising efforts in 2018. “Proceeds from our annual golf tournament, on May 31, will go toward this cause. In addition, SEMC and the Sleepy Eye Healthcare Foundation are planning a gala, the Spirit of Giving Gala, which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Sleepy Eye Event Center,” said Sellheim.

“Historically, the community of Sleepy Eye has been a strong supporter of the medical center and its fundraising efforts. This year, we will look toward to the community for support in funding this enhancement in patient care.”

For updates on fundraising activities and opportunities to give, visit this spring and summer.