Friday, July 12, 2013

Sutter Amador Hospital Gives New Option to Patients with MRI Breast Cancer Screening

Patients can receive care closer to home

JACKSON, Calif. – Sutter Amador Hospital will expand its health and wellness services available to women with the debut of breast magnetic resonance imaging, or breast MRI, made possible through generous donations from community members and groups.

“This service opens more doors for our patients and gives them access to a powerful diagnostic screening technology previously unavailable in Amador County,” said Judy Vermason, diagnostic imaging operations manager at Sutter Amador Hospital. “Keeping care local within our community is a great convenience to our patients.”

A breast MRI captures multiple images of the breast that are ultimately combined using a computer to create more detailed pictures. A breast MRI also involves patients receiving an intravascular (IV) injection of a contrast agent, or dye, to help increase the visibility around the areas that are undergoing closer examination.

Breast MRI can be a useful screening tool when physicians need more information than a patient’s mammogram, ultrasound or clinical breast exam can give. Breast MRI also may be utilized with women who are at high risk for breast cancer, or who have a family history of breast or ovarian cancers, or who have dense breasts. As always, women should discuss their options with their health care providers.

“For patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer, and for those women who are likely to develop breast cancer, this new technology can be life-saving,” according to Lincoln Russin, M.D. Dr. Russin is one of the hospital’s radiologists who recently received training and certification in breast MRI and MRI-guided biopsy from the American College of Radiology. “I’ve watched the development of breast MRI with great interest over the past several years, and I’m delighted that we can now provide this for our patients at Sutter Amador.”

Sutter Amador Hospital has made a commitment to continually invest in various types of breast cancer screening tools for patients. The hospital has state-of-the-art mammography with computer-aided detection, and high-resolution breast ultrasound. Sutter Amador Hospital provides ultrasound-guided breast biopsy for patients who have lesions that can be identified with ultrasound and will also be able to offer MRI-guided biopsy for patients who have lesions that are not detectable by mammography or ultrasound.

Fundraising for breast MRI services at Sutter Amador Hospital were a part of Sutter Health’s Philanthropy Capital Matching Grant Program. Sutter Health matched the $60,000 raised locally by the Sutter Amador Hospital Foundation to fund the expansion of imaging services. Dr. Russin and Rebecca Reh, one of our diagnostic imaging technologists, dedicated themselves to educating community members about breast MRI. Rebecca’s sister Sharon had breast cancer that was detected only by breast MRI. Sharon provided a video about her experience.  

“We were touched at how personally committed Dr. Russin, Rebecca and Sharon were to help us with our fundraising mission,” said Jody Boetzer, philanthropy, marketing and communications coordinator for Sutter Amador Hospital. “Dr. Russin and Rebecca’s knowledge, along with Sharon’s journey, helped illustrate the value breast MRI can offer patients.”

In addition to Sutter Amador Hospital’s financial investment in services to our patients, the entire care team continues its commitment to patient safety and the highest level of quality. Sutter Amador Hospital maintains accreditation from the American College of Radiology in CT, MRI and mammography, which is a testament to a commitment and expertise in advanced diagnostic imaging.

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