BBQ grills up some good for St. Francis Memorial

KILLALOE – Barbeques were fired up and ready to go at the Killaloe CIBC barbeque on June 22.

Lou Eyamie and Ian Coxworthy donated their time grilling up burgers for the cause.
Branch Manager Pauline Sedgeman said while the fundraising barbeque happens regularly, this one marks a first for the local bank.
“It’s the first barbeque that we have had specifically for the St. Francis Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation,” Sedgeman said.
This means that half of the proceeds from the event will go towards the new mammography machine at the hospital in Barry’s Bay. Mammography units are essential to detecting breast cancer early.
Toni Lavigne-Conway, director at the hospital foundation, came out to support the barbeque. She said the mammography machine was purchased in the spring and the foundation is hard at work raising money to pay the $400,000 unit off.
“We have a plan in place and we hope to pay it off within four years,” she said.
The new digital machine was purchased to replace an aging unit that required film, which is no longer a standard in the field.
Alison Bishop is the head of the radiology department at St. Francis. Had the hospital not purchased a new mammography machine this year, it would not have received accreditation from the Canadian Association of
Radiologists, something that is required to run the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP.)
The OBSP allows women over 50 to self-refer themselves for a mammogram. They do not need to have a history of breast cancer to be seen.
Bishop set up a display at the barbeque to show the community the difference between a film and digital mammography machine. The display showcased two different breast scans; one that used film and the other that used digital.
The digital image is much sharper and easier to make out.
“It’s so exciting to provide this level of care to the people of our community,” Bishop said. “This is what they offer in the city. Why can’t we have it here?”
Bishop expects the machine to last between 15 to 20 years.
She added that the Barry’s Bay hospital has the highest percentage of first-rate users, that is, women over the age of 50 who are self-referred.
Jeremy Stevenson, chief operating officer at St. Francis, credits the staff at the hospital for helping bring the issue of purchasing a new machine to the limelight.
Story continues in the June 20 issue of The Valley Gazette.