• From left: ETFO, Renfrew County ESP Local Treasurer Dawn Lorbetskie and President Colleen Mackin present a cheque to the RVH Call to Action Representatives Debbie Tiernay, Cecie Whalen, Sandra Beimers and Annette Miller for the Digital Mammography Fund.

For immediate release

November 15, 2012

Educators learn about digital mammography

One thing leads to another, and the recent Home Hardware Unwrapping Christmas Early event in support of Renfrew Victoria Hospital’s Digital Mammography project led to an invitation for the Call to Action (CTA) team.

When Colleen Mackin, President of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (EFTO), Renfrew County Education Support Personnel (ESP) Local, met CTA representatives Cecie Whalen and Sandra Beimers there on October 23, a connection was formed.

Mackin thought the current initiative of the CTA, the new Digital Mammography equipment and renovated DM suite would be of interest to members. She notes, “A very large percentage of our membership is made up of women, so the Digital Mammography Project really hits home.”

The EFTO, Renfrew County ESP Local, which has approximately 150 members from all areas of Renfrew County, meets two to three times per year and invites a guest speaker to each meeting.

At the organization’s November 12 meeting at Cobden District Public School, representatives of the CTA team presented many aspects of the Digital Mammography project.

Barb Desilets, Renfrew Victoria Hospital Foundation Director of Development, provided background information about the Call to Action initiative—formed in 2011 as a method to disseminate health care information to the public in partnership with community representatives.

The grassroots outreach approach has proven very successful in getting the message out. Desilets noted, “The initiative has taken on a brand of its own.”

Cecie Whalen said she became involved with CTA because she believes the hospital is an important part of the community. Whalen shared with the group many ways to “Learn, Know, Act” when it comes to health care. She also touched on the difficulties of raising funds in smaller communities and thanked the group for its donation.

Mackin and EFTO, Renfrew County ESP Local Treasurer Dawn Lorbetskie presented a cheque for $100 “to help top off” the Digital Mammography Fund.

RVH Mammographer Debbie Tiernay spoke about the Ontario Breast Screening Program, and explained some of the benefits of the new equipment, including reduced amounts of radiation and the speed (six or seven seconds) with which images are available. “The new equipment is definitely state-of-the art,” she concluded.

Sandra Beimers shared her personal story about breast cancer from diagnosis through treatment and follow-up, as well as her perspectives as a staff member of the Diagnostic Imaging team at RVH. Beimers said she “experienced firsthand and sees every day at work the importance of mammography.”

Approximately 1,200 patients have now been screened using the new equipment.

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For more information, please contact Barb Desilets, Director of Development, Renfrew Victoria Hospital Foundation, 613-432-4851, ext. 263.

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