Mammography machine in service

An open house next week at East Kootenay Regional Hospital will celebrate the community’s support for the Clear View campaign.

A new digital mammography machine is in service at East Kootenay Regional Hospital, and it is thanks to you.

East Kootenay Foundation for Health is holding a celebratory open house on Thursday, March 7 to show off the new machine, which gives local women access to enhanced breast cancer diagnosis.

The mammography machine arrived in late January after a whirlwind fundraising campaign, A Clear View, by the foundation managed to pull together $1 million in donations in just 11 months. The campaign was expected to last two years.

Now, the 800 people who gave so generously to the campaign and the general public are invited to come see the digital stereotactic mammography machine at East Kootenay Regional Hospital’s Diagnostic Imaging Department on March 7 from 2 to 4 p.m.

“If it wasn’t for the public, the reality of raising the million dollars for the mammography unit would never have happened. This is our way of saying thank you, come on out and see what you have done,” said Donna Grainger, executive director of East Kootenay Foundation for Health.

“We saw donations come from every area of the East Kootenay – from the Elk Valley, from Golden and Creston, to the Columbia Valley and of course Cranbrook and Kimberley.”

The machine arrived at Cranbrook’s hospital in late January, but it was put to work straightaway, showing just how badly it was needed.

“They have been doing full time screenings for the past two weeks. We didn’t have much down time. It went into service a lot sooner than we had hoped, which is fantastic news,” said Grainger.

A celebration to thank the public for their donations will be marked with guest speakers and a ribbon cutting, as well as coffee, tea and light refreshments.

Speeches will begin at approximately 2:15 p.m. followed by tours of the mammography unit with interested guests.

“Come and see the excitement and the appreciation by the Diagnostic Imaging technicians. It is so rewarding that they know what the public has given us for a piece of equipment that’s going to make a difference in so many lives,” said Grainger.