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BCH hosts ribbon cutting for 3D mammography

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital celebrating the addition of 3D mammography to its imaging department with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

SPRINGVILLE – Bertrand Chaffee Hospital unveiled its newest technology at a ribbon cutting ceremony Oct. 6. The hospital secured 3D mammography technology after receiving an $11.3 million Statewide Healthcare Facility Transformation Project grant.

The 3D technology is a software upgrade to BCH’s digital mammography capabilities, which was secured in 2012 thanks to community support and a grant from the Springville-Griffith Community Education Foundation.

“I think a year ago if we had to say whether we would have 3D mammography in a year, we would have said the odds were good but not great,” Development and Community Relations Coordinator Kara Kane said. “But now we can say we have it in place, we have a really bright future with a lot of different imaging equipment coming up … I’m really excited for this grant. I’m really excited for the next 3-5 years for this hospital and this community.”

To help celebrate the occasion, BCH staff, board members and community members were joined by Assemblyman David DiPietro, Legislature Chairman John Mills, Concord Supervisor Gary Eppolito, Ashford Supervisor Charles Davis, Springville Mayor William Krebs, representatives from Senator Patrick Gallivan’s office and Cattaraugus County Legislator Richard Helmich. BCH Radiologist Anne Ehrlich, MD spoke at the ribbon cutting about the importance of this update to the hospital and the impact from the community to achieve this goal for BCH.

“Through the years, I kept thinking I’m never going to see this [technology] or I’m never going to see that one, this community has come forward and purchased all the state of the art stuff,” Ehrlich said. “It’s been a real privilege to be here all these years. This is the only job I have ever had … I’m grateful to this community for making me want to stay here.”

According to BCH’s website, 3D mammography – or digital breast tomosynthesis – is a type of digital mammography where x-ray machines take pictures of thin slices of the breast from different angles and computer software reconstructs the image. Ehrlich said residents who get a 3D mammogram should not worry about any increases in radiation.

“This new technology makes mammography a benefit to a much wider group of people that we were not benefiting before,” Ehrlich said. “It can see through the densest tissue and they say the statistics are 40 percent higher hit rate for finding cancers. The radiation fear should not be there … you are getting much more information and the same radiation.”

3D mammography appointments are available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and extended hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. For more information on BCH and 3D mammography, visit bertrandchaffee.com or call 592-2871.

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