Hospital’s Women’s Diagnostic Imaging Center receives grant from Hearst Foundation

3D breast ultrasound system will benefit a county in which approximately 22 percent of thel population is women age 40 and older and about 17 percent are women age 60 and older

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital received a $100,000 grant to be used toward the purchase of an Automated Breast Volume Scanner (3D breast ultrasound system) for its Women’s Diagnostic Imaging Center.

“We are honored to receive this grant” said Ken Underwood, Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital, CEO.  “This adds another element of advanced imaging to our scope of services and is a great benefit in early cancer detection for the women in our community.” 

“As the Women’s Center continues to update its diagnostic equipment, the addition of the ABVS will improve imaging quality, yield fewer false positives as well as improve patient monitoring, and assists providers in responding more appropriately (e.g., development of care plans). stated Darlene DeBrito, director of Diagnostic Imaging Services at HHH. The improvements in screening technology will allow our health care providers to detect disease earlier when it is easier to treat, which results in both better health outcomes as well as lower health care costs.”

The Automated Breast Volume Scanner is a highly advanced, multipurpose ultrasound system ideally suited to comfortably image patients with radiographically-dense breast tissue or a history of breast disease. The scanner reaches areas regular mammography alone cannot reach and it allows full examination of the axila (below the armpit), which is the most common area of breast cancer. Women with higher breast density need ultrasound imaging in order to get a clearer image of their breast tissue. In less than 10 minutes, the ABVS acquires full-field volumes of the breast, provides an analysis of the 3D data, and generates semiautomatic reporting.

The largest U.S. study on 3D mammography, published in June 2014 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that 3D tomosynthesis significantly improved detection of invasive cancers. In addition, the technology was better at accurately identifying which women should be called back for more detailed imaging. (Source: “Mammograms: Reasons to get them–and what about the 3D variety?” Dr. Susan Lee Char, breast surgeon, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation.)

According to Census data, approximately 22 percent of San Benito County’s total population is women age 40 and older and about 17 percent are women age 60 and older, ages when breast exams and imaging become more important. The need for increased access to women’s services is evidenced by patient population increases at the Hazel Hawkins Hospital Rural Community Health Clinics and increased patient load at the new Hazel Hawkins Hospital Women’s Center, which addresses the healthcare needs of all women, including peri-menopausal and postmenopausal women who are at even higher risk for breast cancer.

According to National Cancer Institute 2007-2011 data, national incidence of breast cancer is 124.6 per 100,000 women; San Benito’s overall incidence is slightly lower at 122 cases per 100,000. Providing ultrasound diagnostics at the Women’s Center will allow a woman to be examined and receive state-of-the-art diagnostic breast imaging, discuss the results and, if necessary, plan for action with her physician all in one location. This will reduce wait times, help eliminate anxiety and inconvenience, and will provide more effective monitoring by physicians.

About Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital

The Hazel Hawkins Memorial Health Care System is a comprehensive network of health care programs, services and facilities. In addition to a core 62-bed hospital, community health care needs are met via home health care and palliative care programs, four clinic/patient care centers, 4 diagnostic laboratories, two skilled nursing facilities encompassing 119 beds, and new state-of-the-art facilities including an Ambulatory Surgery Center, Women’s Center and Emergency Department.

About the Hearst Foundations

The Hearst Foundations support nonprofit organizations working in culture, education, health, and social service in the United States. The charitable goals of the foundations reflect the philanthropic interests of William Randolph Hearst, with a focus on ensuring that people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to build healthy, productive, and inspiring lives. Visit the foundations’ website for more information. In addition to grant making, two unique programs are administered and funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation: the United States Senate Youth Program for high school juniors and seniors, and the Journalism Awards Program for undergraduates at accredited schools of journalism. The William Randolph Hearst Foundation and The Hearst Foundation, Inc. are independent private philanthropies operating separately from the Hearst Corporation.


BenitoLink Staff