Oct. 23, 2009
SAINT JOHN (CNB) - The first instalment of a three-year funding commitment worth $160,000 for a second digital mammography unit for St. Joseph's Women's Health Centre was announced today at the centre by Health Minister Mary Schryer.
"To fight breast cancer we must have a high-quality health-care system equipped to respond to the needs of those battling this disease," said Schryer. "As we mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I am pleased that the new digital mammography unit will allow for the expansion of breast cancer screening services, increase patient access, reduce wait times, and improve image quality."
This first instalment is worth $53,000. The Department of Health also provided financial support for the purchase of the existing digital mammography unit at the centre.
"The acquisition of the new digital mammography equipment represents major advancements in women's health care in the Horizon Health Network and for the patients we serve, particularly in our Saint John Zone," said Donald J. Peters, president and chief executive officer of Horizon Health Network. "I am encouraged by the advancements in women's health care that we continue to see across our region, and I am excited about our continuing efforts of improving health-care delivery and accessibility to the residents of New Brunswick. Our partnership with the Government of New Brunswick, the St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation and our Horizon Health Network is truly making a difference in health-care delivery in New Brunswick."
Schryer also noted the investment made by the St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation.
"This is a wonderful gift," said Robert Boyce, chairman of the foundation. "The investment by the Department of Health, our many generous sponsors and the community has allowed the foundation to purchase two digital mammography machines to meet the needs of the St. Joseph's breast health program. Our CareConnections campaign has received remarkable support, and I am pleased to announce that we are very close to meeting our $3.5-million goal supporting the addition of new technology and equipment for more accurate diagnosis and earlier treatment. On behalf of the foundation, I sincerely thank you for your investment in St. Joseph's, and look forward to your continuing support."
Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the second-leading cause of death among women in New Brunswick.
Women between 50 and 69 have a higher risk of contracting breast cancer than women in other age groups. Regular (every two years) breast cancer screening examinations for women 50 to 69 is recommended to detect the cancer as early as possible, and to reduce mortality.
A list of the 16 breast cancer screening sites in New Brunswick may be found online.
MEDIA CONTACT: Sonya Gilks, communications, Department of Health, 506-453-2536.