Project Hope bringing 3D mammography to Flaget

-A A +A

Fundraising campaign reaches first phase

By Kacie Goode

Through the support of the community, Flaget Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Project Hope has met the first half of its goal in a $1.1 million fundraising campaign to improve cancer-related resources in Nelson County. The hospital announced recently it will purchase 3D mammography equipment to better enhance breast cancer prevention and diagnostic services.

“Nelson County is one of the top counties in Kentucky for incidents of cancer overall, which is incredible to me,” said Maggie Smith, manager of the Flaget Cancer Center. Kentucky as a whole has a high rate of breast cancer.

Smith’s mother, Leigh Anne Wimsett, is someone who would likely have benefited from a 3D mammogram when she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer a few years ago. Wimsett found a lump during a self breast exam just months after receiving a mammogram that came back clear. The tumor is something a 3D mammogram would most likely have detected before the cancer spread as far as it did.

The Hologic’s Genius 3D Mammography system to be purchased is promoted as being able to not only detect cancers earlier, but also detect 20 to 65 percent more breast cancers than 2D mammography alone, which is what Flaget currently uses.

“Instead of doing one picture, as we do, we will take a picture every millimeter of the way, all the way through the breast,” said Dr. Lori Atkins, medical director for the Flaget Imaging Department.

Detecting breast cancer at its earliest stage improves treatment options and survival rate, and with more accurate imaging, Atkins said, the number of callbacks for exams can be reduced by about 40 percent, giving patients better peace of mind.

Atkins said the hospital currently does about 3,000 mammograms a year, but she anticipates an increase once the new equipment is installed. In adding 3D mammography to what Flaget already offers in breast ultrasound, diagnostic mammograms and needle biopsies, the facility will have a full-service breast cancer center by the end of the summer, keeping residents from having to commute to other facilities for those services.

Jennifer Nolan, hospital president, said she is grateful to the Flaget Memorial Hospital Foundation Board in recognizing the importance of bringing 3D mammography to Nelson County, and the fundraising efforts of Project Hope to reach that phase.

“It’s such a worthwhile cause, and I do think this will be something all women in this community will be able to take advantage of,” she said.

Project Hope was launched in December 2016 and is the Foundation’s largest fundraising effort. Bringing 3D mammography to Flaget is the first phase of the project.

“We’ve been working on this effort for a year and a half in the community, and through generous support from donors, we are able to make that first phase happen,” said Andrea Shepherd, who works with the Foundation. To support the cost of the 3D mammography equipment, more than $400,000 was raised over the last several months through donations and numerous fundraisers.

“Whether it’s corporate sponsors or individuals in the community, it’s been amazing to see how many folks really cared so much about this project,” Nolan said of the support. “It touched our hearts to see we raised this much money so quickly.”

With the first phase reached, Project Hope will now continue its focus on fundraising for the second phase, which is to expand the Flaget Cancer Center.

Since the Cancer Center’s inception in 2010, the number of patients it serves per day has quadrupled. The Center currently has seven private infusion rooms where patients receive treatment, but the Foundation hopes to add three more rooms to enhance patient experience and care. In addition to the infusion rooms, the Center expansion plan also looks to add an in-house pharmacy.

For additional information on Project Hope, including stories from survivors and family members and information on fundraising efforts and events, visit www.kentuckyonehealth.org/projecthope.


Upcoming events supporting Project Hope

• May 4 — Heaven Hill Fifty Shades of Pink

The Fifty Shades of Pink event will run from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday at the Bourbon Heritage Center of Heaven Hill. The event will include live music, dancing, food and cocktails. Derby and pink attire is encouraged for this Oaks Day celebration, and a limited Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon can be purchased and dipped in pink wax. A portion of the bottle sales will be donated to Project Hope. Tickets for the Fifty Shades of Pink event are $100 per person with limited seating, and can be purchased by calling (502) 272 -2623.

May 10 — Monthly Hope Tour

Hope Tours are held from 5-6 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at Flaget Memorial Hospital. Guests can tour the hospital and cancer center, meet staff members and hear inspiring stories from cancer survivors and their families. Those interested in attending can RSVP to Andrea Shepherd at 502.350.5058 or AndreaShepherd@KentuckyOneHealth.org.

June 1 — Annual Flaget Memorial Hospital Foundation Golf Tournament

The seventh annual four-person golf scramble will be held at Bardstown Country Club, Maywood Course. Registration opens at 11 a.m. with lunch. Start time for the tournament is noon. Prizes will be awarded to top teams and individuals, in addition to several giveaways. Cost is $600 per foursome, with additional sponsorship opportunities also available. To register, call (502) 350-5058.