Marcum & Wallace Memorial Hospital (MWMH) has received a grant from The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to upgrade the breast cancer screening technology at the hospital. The MWMH Foundation launched the campaign to raise money to upgrade the breast cancer screening technology in October of 2015. Through events, individual and corporate donations and various grants, the MWMH Foundation completed the capital campaign by raising $388,902.

“We are thankful to the Appalachian Regional Commission for the funding that will complete our campaign,” said Arielle Estes, MWMH Foundation Director. “We are proud of the community support that we received throughout the campaign. Women in our communities deserve access to this technology and the success of the project wouldn’t have happened without our donors.”

Current breast cancer incidence rates from the National Cancer Institute indicate that about one in eight women will have invasive breast cancer sometime during her life. Mammograms are the most effective way to detect breast cancer, allowing for more timely treatment and improved survivorship. Annually, MWMH performs 1,500 mammograms. MWMH presently provides digital mammography that has limitations; including obscuring cancer or making normal structure appear suspicious.

“The addition of 3D mammography to the radiology department at Marcum and Wallace Hospital will save lives,” said MWMH President & CEO Susan Starling. “Upgrading the breast cancer screening technology we offer was essential for the women’s health services and the Marcum and Wallace Hospital Foundation campaign made this possible. We appreciate all the support we received on this project.” 

The MWMH primary service area (Estill, Lee, Powell and Owsley Counties) is marked with breast cancer incidence and mortality rates above the state average. The ability to obtain a 3D mammography screening close to home could have a significant impact in early detection and improve overall survival rates.

“This much needed equipment will serve to improve the early detection of breast cancer which is critical to treatment and prevention,” said Commissioner Sandra Dunahoo at the Department for Local Government (DLG). “I am pleased that the ARC approved funding to Marcum and Wallace Hospital for this upgrade as it continues to provide critical medical care for the Eastern Kentucky Coalfield region.”

The ARC program and policy is to provide assistance for residential infrastructure project, water supply and wastewater treatment projects to assist in alleviating environmental public health concerns and ensure the acceptable quality of life for local residents.