By Taylor Six
Friday morning, Congressman Andy Barr was welcomed at Marcum and Wallace Memorial Hospital to celebrate the completion of the hospital’s campaign for 3D mammography funding.
“Good morning, and what a great morning it is,” said Congressman Barr. “Today we can celebrate that we have made an investment in our mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, and aunts with upgrading our technology. We are celebrating the intervention, prevention and dedication of Marcum Wallace Hospital and its employees.”
In April, the hospital received a $250,902 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission that completed efforts and funding for the new breast cancer screening technology.
Annually, Marcum and Wallace performs 1,500 mammograms in its service area which includes Estill, Lee, Owsley and Powell counties.
Marcum and Wallace Hospital Foundation launched their campaign in October of 2015 to obtain 3D mammography screening technology to give the patients of Estill County the same quality of technology as urban counterparts outside of Central Appalachia.
Arielle Estes, Marcum and Wallace Foundation Director, was moved to tears when she spoke about the endless efforts of the community.
“Our community rallied and has really worked hard to not only get this grant, but to raise over $138,000 with fundraisers, donors, and sponsors. We couldn’t have done this without our community,” said Estes.
More than $80,000 was raised in the 2015 and 2016 Chip in for the Cure Golf Scramble and Pink Paradise Luau; $25,000 from the Ray and Kay Eckstein Charitable Trust; $10,000 from Columbia Gas; individual support and fundraisers within the community; and memoriam gifts and donations.
“This is not only a success for Estill County, but for the bigger issue of rural healthcare in Eastern Kentucky and across Appalachia,” said Congressman Barr.
Marcum and Wallace President and CEO Susan Starling urged the importance of the upgrade for the health of women in the area.
“Kentucky has some of the most distressed counties in Appalachia for healthcare, and women’s lifespan is showing an average decrease by ten years. This allows us to screen patients close to home and help detect something sooner,” said Starling.
Many Estill County officials were in attendance including Ravenna Mayor Estine Tipton, Judge Executive Wallace Taylor, and Estill County Superintendent Jeff Saylor.
The proposed implementation date for the 3D mammography is scheduled for September 2017.