Local Donations - Large and Small - Transforming Careat Eisenhower Schnitzer/Novack Breast Center
Through donations large and small, the Eisenhower Schnitzer/Novack Breast Center is breaking new ground and transforming care regionally by offering new technology in the fight against breast cancer — technology benefiting people in the Coachella Valley in need of diagnostic mammography and breast imaging.
Eisenhower Health is replacing all of its mammography units with the newest, state-of-the-art 3D mammography equipment by Hologic — considered the worldwide leader in mammography and breast imaging technology. Additionally, the breast center installed Hologic’s Affirm® upright stereotactic biopsy guidance system for those patients unable to have a biopsy lying prone (body facing downward). Affirm is the world’s first and only dedicated upright biopsy system to offer both 2D and 3D imaging-guided breast biopsies.
“It is only through donations from our generous community that we are able to upgrade our mammography equipment with Hologic’s 3D mammography systems for all of our breast center locations,” says Paul Sylvan, MD, Medical Director, Eisenhower Schnitzer/Novack Breast Center. “These new units have a number of new, unique features that improve image quality and the ability of the breast imagers to detect subtle abnormalities at the earliest stages.”
Additionally, the community’s investment in Hologic’s Affirm® upright stereotactic biopsy guidance system offers imaging which can pinpoint subtle lesions and faint calcifications better than ever while the patient is positioned comfortably upright. The new biopsy system also means faster targeting and less radiation, resulting in shorter patient procedure time and reduced patient dose.
For nearly14 years, Bighorn Behind a Miracle (BAM) has contributed more than $9.4 million to the Eisenhower Schnitzer/Novack Breast Center. Through their extraordinary efforts during the pandemic Bighorn BAM was able to raise $254,000 for the breast center this year. Their generous contribution this year, combined with previous gifts, enabled the breast center to purchase a 3D mammography system with computer-aided detection and artificial intelligence capabilities replacing a 10-year-old piece of equipment.
“BAM and its supporters are thrilled to be able to be a part in helping the Eisenhower Schnitzer/Novack Breast Center and all of its locations with state-of-the-art diagnostic cancer equipment. We will continue to support Eisenhower Health in ways that will help all cancer patients.”
Eisenhower Health’s Circle of Stars — a group of philanthropic women (139 members and growing) committed to advancing the quality of health care for our community — helped fund the latest breast technology system. Each year, the group pools its resources to purchase state-of-the-art technology that will save lives. Understanding breast cancer affects more than 260,000 women annually, the Circle of Stars successfully raised funds for one of the new 3D mammography systems.
“The Circle of Stars is humbled and honored to join together and help provide this life-saving equipment for all of our neighbors in the Coachella Valley,” says Deborah DeSantis, Leader, Circle of Stars.
For Terry Wright, who has volunteered at the Eisenhower Schnitzer/Novack Breast Center for four years, making a donation to the center seemed a natural fit. “After having been through my own breast cancer experience years ago, and witnessing first-hand [as a volunteer] the incredible work the breast center does for all of its patients, I wanted to find a way to give back,” she says. Terry and her husband Donald’s generous contribution allowed the breast center to purchase one of the six new Hologic mammography systems.
“Knowing that our donation will impact breast center patients in such a positive way feels amazing, and to have this type of new technology right here in the Coachella Valley benefits everyone — which is why we decided to give back.”
Additional major gifts were received from Eisenhower Health Board Members Jan Salta and Helene Galen and Eisenhower benefactors Nelson and Polly Hester.
“Without the hundreds of donors who have given to this effort, we wouldn’t be able to offer this new technology to all of our patients,” says Katie Schnaser, Chief Administrative Officer, Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center. “We are forever grateful for their generosity. Our community continues to make an impact on our patients’ care experience with technologies and other systems allowing Eisenhower Health to offer the gold standard in care.”