Digital mammography machine sought for Rhea residents

Digital mammography machine sought for Rhea residents

June 22nd, 2010 in Health

HOW TO HELP

What: Fundraising for digital mammography at Rhea Medical Center

When: Through May 31, 2011

Goal: $340,000

Events: Sept. 8 golf tournament, Nov. 20 holiday celebration, more

Information: Call Kim Etheredge at 423-775-8580.

By Kimberly McMillian

Correspondent

DAYTON, Tenn. - Within the year, officials at Rhea County Medical Center want to provide better mammograms for local residents.

To that end, the center has launched a campaign to raise $340,000 to pay for a new digital mammography machine and a new bone densitonomer, which measures the density of bones.

While the medical center already has an analog mammography machine, digital machines are more efficient, faster and help with the storage of patients' information, said Scott Miller, director of imaging there.

"Digital imaging technology has changed the way rural hospitals provide care. It bridges the gap between larger medical centers and rural hospitals," he said. "Not only do the images provide a higher resolution and more advanced techniques for better interpretation, it allows RMC to offer better visibility of the breast, quicker exams, fewer repeat exams and electronic archival of patient records."

All records now are maintained manually, he said.

The Rhea Medical Healthcare Foundation launched its campaign for the purchase of the equipment, said foundation director Kim Etheredge.

"We've got several events planned throughout the year," she said.

The Dayton Golf and Country Club will host a golf tournament Sept. 8 for corporate and individual teams. The "Rhea-diant Holiday Celebration" on Nov. 20 will feature decorated trees, swags and centerpieces sold during a silent auction.

Nearly $100,000 already has been received from a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant and a donation, Ms. Etheredge said.

The densitonomer was installed June 11 after a part on older equipment couldn't be replaced, she said. The fund drive will help pay for the remainder of its cost, she said.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@bellsouth.net.