North Valley Hospital is installing a 3D mammography machine that is the result of a fundraising effort that began last fall.
The machine — a digital breast tomosynthesis — is expected to provide a high level of care, according to the hospital. Donations to the North Valley Hospital Foundation, which provided 100 percent of the funds for the equipment, totaling $540,000 allowed for the purchase.
Fundraising began in the spring of 2017 with a donation of $150,000 from the Jerome Broussard family. The Broussards, through the Event at Rebecca Farm and their own charity called “Halt Cancer at X,” are closely tied to breast cancer prevention and research.
Throughout the summer, and in partnership with the Whitefish Community Foundation’s Great Fish Challenge, many donors contributed to help the hospital foundation meet the initial fundraising goal of $500,000. Over $120,000 of this amount was raised through the Great Fish Challenge, which also provided a matching $9,600 grant to the project.
Due to an increase in the cost of the equipment additional fundraising was necessary and additional donors provided funds for the total project at $540,000. To complete fundraising, local financial institutions including Glacier Bank of Whitefish, First Interstate Bank of Whitefish, and the Whitefish Credit Union partnered to contribute the final $20,000 of needed funds for the project.
Dr. Melissa Hulvat of the Bass Breast Center at Kalispell Regional Medical Center and radiologist Dr. Amanda Beer championed the project to purchase the 3D mammography machine.
The project was a collaboration between Kalispell Regional Healthcare facilities including KRMC and NVH in addition to a private group of radiologists at Northwest Imaging and the KRH and NVH foundations and administrative teams.
The Digital Breast Tomosynthesis equipment is set to be installed by mid-February at North Valley Hospital, with 3D mammography services immediately available to the greater North Valley Hospital service area.