Gunnison Valley Health and Tough Enough to Wear Pink
Thanks to the generous support of
Cattlemen’s Days Tough Enough To Wear Pink, Gunnison Valley Health now features Hologic GeniusTM 3D Tomosynthesis
Cattlemen’s Days Tough Enough to Wear Pink has partnered with Gunnison Valley Health to provide the best breast cancer
care available anywhere in the rural United States. In just the past year,
the two have worked together to redefine small-town breast care.
According to a 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment, cancer care is one
of the highest priority needs identified by our community. GVH’s
own Dr. Stephania Timothy, recognizing the higher incidence of dense breast
tissue in our community, played a critical role in getting the state legislature
to pass a bill mandating the reporting of breast density in mammography
reports to patients and physicians.
Dense breast tissue can result in a greater amount of white showing up
on a mammogram. The challenge is that cancer also appears white in mammograms,
making it easier for tumors to be hidden or masked in traditional 2D mammography,
especially for women with dense breast tissue. Thankfully, 3D Tomosynthesis
technology makes it easier to identify cancer in dense breast tissue.
Unfortunately, it’s a very specialized piece of equipment many small
rural hospitals cannot maintain.
That’s where Tough Enough to Wear Pink comes in. This summer, TETWP
generously provided nearly $400,000 to Gunnison Valley Health to purchase
a Hologic GeniusTM 3D Tomosynthesis Mammography machine. Hologic is widely
recognized as a leader in the breast imaging field and such technology
allows GVH to identify breast cancer better than ever before.
In addition, GVH has partnered with Radiology Imaging Associates (RIA),
a team of 90 radiology specialists behind Envision Sally Jobe, to provide
reads here in the Gunnison Valley. No other rural hospital in the state
has access to a team of radiology specialists like RIA.
World-class technology coupled with access to world-class radiologists
means the women in our community can stay in our community to receive
care that rivals anywhere in the state.
You might think GVH and TETWP would leave it at that. But redefining rural
healthcare means never resting. This past winter GVH also hired Betsy
Welsh, an oncology nurse navigator, with funding help from TETWP. Betsy
walks alongside those in our community fighting cancer and assists with
a variety of aspects of a patient’s treatment, from explaining medications
to assisting with nutrition to coordinating services that best meet the
needs of the patient.
Tough Enough to Wear Pink provides vital support to the work Gunnison Valley
Health does. Together, we are not only changing the face of healthcare
in our community, we are redefining what rural breast care looks like.