Digital mammography campaign promoted

Duane Hicks

The Riverside Foundation for Health Care is aiming raise $650,000 to purchase a digital mammography unit by this fall through its new “Together We Can” campaign.
Campaign co-chair Christine Ruppenstein and campaign director Nicke Baird spoke yesterday at the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce’s spring general membership meeting at Moss Yoga Studio here.
Ruppenstein said the campaign will be a district-wide initiative to purchase equipment that will benefit all residents of Rainy River District.
“Right now, the equipment that we have is outdated,” she explained, noting it is 10-12 years old and uses film that has to be couriered to Thunder Bay to be read.
Ruppenstein said they’re just at the onset of the campaign, and are looking to increase awareness amongst district residents.
“We’re going to start the big launch early in the fall, early in September, but we’re kind of getting the buzz out there right now,” she remarked.
“People are asking questions; they want to know a little bit more about the campaign.”
Ruppenstein said it’s possible some businesses will be contacted about making a substantial donation in the next short while.
“We’ll be looking to the community, business people, service clubs across not just Fort
Frances, but across the district, from Rainy River to Emo to Nestor Falls, to all work together. . . .
“Our target date is October to have this equipment installed, in place, and ready to roll,” added Ruppenstein.
This would coincide with Breast Health Month.
Ruppenstein said the district has been generous in the past, supporting fundraising for the “Care Close to Home” campaign and the CT scan.
“Since the CT scan machine’s been implemented, there’s been 10,000 scans done locally, so that’s 10,000 procedures that didn’t have to be done out of town,” she remarked.
“That’s a pretty accomplishment in itself.
“It’s better to have these types of procedures at home, so people don’t have to travel, they can get the results quicker, they don’t have to wait as long for the results,” Ruppenstein reasoned.
“That’s what this [digital mammography unit] will do—it will quicken up the procedure, it will quicken up the results,” she explained. “[Plus] less radiation for the workers involved, less radiation for the person getting the scan involved.
“It’s a brand new piece of equipment with brand new technology.”
Baird noted there is zero government funding available for hospital equipment, such as a digital mammography unit, so all such purchases have to be community-funded.
Donations can be made by calling the campaign office at 274-4803 or e-mailing n.baird@rhcf.on.ca.