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Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Foundation Awards $427,500 to Breast Health Center

The Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Foundation has awarded a $427,500 grant to support the purchase of a second 3D Mammography machine at the hospital’s Breast Health Center located at its Portsmouth Outpatient Center.

The Foundation received grants from an anonymous donor, the Cogswell Benevolent Trust, TD Charitable Foundation, and the Telemachus and Irene Demoulas Family Foundation, which combined with the Foundation’s Annual Fund grant, made the purchase possible. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held October 20, 2021 at the Breast Health Center to celebrate the purchase and launch of the machine.  

“We are thrilled to bring this live-saving technology to patients of the Breast Health Center,” said Jackie Eastwood, Chair of the Wentworth-Douglass Foundation Board of Directors. “The Foundation has been working on this important initiative since 2019. Cancer is the leading cause of death in New Hampshire, which means we are ranked nationally as the state with the highest breast cancer rate. 3D mammography has revolutionized breast cancer screening and we couldn’t be happier for the support we have received to make this available to women around the Seacoast.”

3D Mammography provides early detection of breast cancer. The technology reduces the need for unnecessary callbacks to patients, which helps streamline care and reduce anxious waiting periods for patients. The second unit will allow the facility to meet increased demand for services including routine screenings, diagnostic mammography, and most biopsies. 

“Some women need time to process information and make decisions how to proceed from screening to diagnosis to biopsy to treatment, other women are ready to move through the process in the same day. Having a second 3D mammography unit available helps providers maximize patient choice throughout the process while simultaneously continuing to serve more women who come to the Breast Health Center for routine screenings,” said Helene Langley, Breast Nurse Navigator at the Breast Health Center.

“Our goal is to make the experience as streamlined as possible for patients. It’s such an anxiety producing time that we want to make sure if there is a cancer diagnosis, we can move forward with a treatment plan as quickly as possible,” she added. 

 “This machine is one of many initiatives we have that is so vitally important to all of us. It provides a critical linkage to our colleagues at Mass General as we deliver advanced services for those patients at higher risk of developing cancer. We are thrilled to be able offer this at our Portsmouth campus. It is just one of many endeavors we plan to offer to bring this campus to its full potential,” said Ellen Caille, Executive Vice Present at Wentworth-Douglass. 

Wentworth-Douglass’ Portsmouth Outpatient Center also includes the Seacoast Cancer Center, which works closely with the Breast Health Center on a multi-disciplinary breast plan for patients. 

In addition to 3D mammography and advanced screening capabilities, the Breast Health Center at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital’s Portsmouth Outpatient Center offers comprehensive breast diagnostic services, screening and diagnostic 2D mammography, breast ultrasound and MRI; image-guided needle biopsy; and bone density screening. Patients at increased risk for breast cancer have access to the High-Risk Clinic and work with a certified breast health nurse navigator to help coordinate treatment and schedule appointments.

(Pictured L to R: Todd Sigmon, Assistant Vice President, Portsmouth Outpatient Center; Jackie Eastwood, Chair, WDH Foundation Board of Directors; Jessica Plourde, Mammography Technologist; Susan Mahoney, Mammography Technologist; Kevin Sweeney, Director of Imaging Services; Cheryl Farnham, Breast Health Manager; Ellen Caille, FACHE, Executive Vice President; Cristine More, CFRE, Chief Philanthropy Officer, WDH Foundation; Denise Palumbo, Assistant Vice President, Cardiovascular Services.)

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