Awareness and Treatment

Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital installs new mammography unit

A six-month community fund-raising effort culminated Thursday with the dedication of the new mammography machine at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital. A simple ceremony was held outside the room where the new machine sits, attended mostly by hospital staff and foundation members.

Gary Young, hospital chaplain, gave a brief prayer and spoke about “measuring” the new machine beyond its value as an “instrument of technology.”

“I suggest we measure it in a different way,” he said. “Let’s measure it by the smile” a mother gives to her child, he said, and “by moonlit nights” enjoyed.

“Let’s measure it by the simple breath of life that breathes in and breathes out,” Young said.

Jim Clair, president of the PHRMH board, hailed the new machine as “state of the art equipment.”

“It further enhances the quality of care we offer here at the hospital,” he said. The hospital’s foundation, led by director Judy Spellecy, began a fund-raising campaign in April to raise money to purchase the new machine, which is an upgrade of the hospital’s previous mammography machine.

The fund-raiser was boosted when Phil Jensen, owner of Luhr-Jensen & Sons, sold one of his collector cars, a 1966 Corvette Stingray, to the foundation at below-value cost to be raffled off for the cause. More than 700 raffle tickets were sold over the summer, raising about $55,000. In all, more than $130,000 was raised for the new machine.

“The generosity of many in this community funded this,” Clair said.

The new machine has more “bells and whistles” than the old one, according to the hospital’s mammography technicians.

A new, high-tech “grid system” incorporated into the machine reduces radiation scatter during mammograms and allows for sharper images with reduced radiation levels, according to technician Kim Mix. The new machine also has greater mobility, allowing for better wheelchair access. New technology has also made mammograms with the new machine more comfortable for patients.

An upgraded, built-in computer allows each technician to program it according to their preferences.

“Not only is it more patient-friendly, it’s more technician-friendly, too,” Mix said. An additional feature, to be added in the next few weeks, is an attachment to the machine that allows technicians to do biopsies with nearly instantaneous digital images rather than having to wait to develop film.

“We’re really excited about it,” Mix said.

Although the official dedication of the machine was Thursday, prior to the Business After Hours event hosted by the hospital, the unit was installed earlier in the week. By Friday, it had already been used for many of the nearly 75 mammograms done each week at the hospital.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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