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St. Mary’s celebrates National Donate Life Month

May. 02, 2013 @ 03:05 PM

St. Mary’s Medical Center is proud to celebrate April as National Donate Life Month, a time to commemorate those who have been organ and tissue donors and those who have received or are waiting to receive a lifesaving transplant.

St. Mary’s is working with Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates to increase awareness on how people can register as a donor. “KODA is proud to work with St. Mary’s Medical Center throughout the year to save lives through organ donation,” said Joy Adkins, KODA community outreach coordinator. “April as National Donate Life Month is a special time to encourage people to register as organ and tissue donors and to celebrate those who have saved lives through the gift of donation.”

As part of the commemoration, St. Mary’s is flying the Donate Life flag outside the medical center’s main entrance. The flag was raised at a special ceremony April 1, which the West Virginia House of Delegates proclaimed as West Virginia Donor Designation Day.

“St. Mary’s is to be commended for flying the Donate Life flag,” Adkins said. “For the donor families, it is a symbol of remembrance for those loved ones who gave and for the recipients, it is a reminder of the precious gift of the life they have been given. Currently, there are more than 117,000 people across the country awaiting a lifesaving transplant. For them, the Donate Life flag is a symbol of hope.”

According to Donate Life America, 18 people die each day in the U.S. while waiting for an organ transplant. A new name is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes.

To register online as an organ donor, go to www.donatelife.net and choose the state in which you have a driver’s license. For more information about organ donation, visit KODA’s website at www.kyorgandonor.org.

St. Mary’s Making 3-D Mammograms More Convenient for Tri-State Women

To celebrate the first anniversary of 3-D mammography at St. Mary’s, the St. Mary’s Breast Center is offering extended hours for 3-D mammograms every Monday from 4-7 p.m.

“St. Mary’s is excited to offer more options for working women to obtain a mammogram,” said Anne Hammack, RN, BSN, Breast Center clinical manager. “We recognize that with increasingly busy schedules, we needed to dedicate an evening to make it more convenient for women in the Tri-State to get a mammogram.”

Hans G. Dransfeld, MD, chief of radiology at St. Mary’s, stresses that early detection is extremely important. “In the last 20 years, the improvements in the morbidity and mortality of breast cancer have made strides while many other cancers haven’t,” Dransfeld said. “Much of it has to do with early detection.”

Aynessa Mondlak, director of St. Mary’s Cancer Center, said women should begin having yearly mammograms at age 40, unless prior family history dictates having one earlier.

“If you have a family history where your mother or your sister was diagnosed, the recommendation is 10 years prior to their age at diagnosis,” Mondlak said. “For instance, if your mother was diagnosed at 38, we would recommend that you get started at age 28 unless there are indicators otherwise.”

St. Mary’s was the first hospital in the Tri-State to offer 3-D mammography, also known as digital

“With tomosynthesis, you can separate what’s normal from abnormal,” Dr. Dransfeld said. “So a mass is very conspicuous versus the traditional mammography where it’s obscured by overlying tissue. You’re getting rid of all the extraneous information and looking at a particular slice. This allows you to navigate through the breast slice by slice as opposed to just getting one compressed image. Technology wise, this is the most innovative development that I’ve seen in breast imaging in 22 years. It’s just amazing.”

For more information about having your physician schedule your annual mammogram, call 304-526-1492.