Steele Memorial Receives Grant Funding for 3D Mammography
July 27, 2021
The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has granted Steele Memorial Medical Center $174,000 to help the hospital purchase the county’s first 3D mammography machine to improve the hospital’s diagnostic capabilities for the early detection of breast cancer.
“Providing access to healthcare to individuals in rural communities is an ongoing challenge that many individuals and organizations are working diligently to solve. We are grateful to organizations like Steele Memorial Medical Center that are working tirelessly to identify and deploy solutions that serve the unique needs of their community,” said Steve Moore, executive director, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. “
The grant to Steele Memorial reflects Murdock Trust’s continued investment in the Pacific Northwest, having contributed $9.7 million to supporthealthcare in the state of Idaho and $53 million in total to Idaho nonprofits.
The hospital has been relying on a 2D mammography machine for many years. But 3D technology is proven to find 41% more invasive breast cancers and is overall better at detecting the early stages of cancer than 2D technology. Currently, patients needing 3D technology have to travel three hours to the nearest hospital to receive screenings. Winter weather conditions can also make travel from Salmon difficult thus limiting access to early breast cancer detection technology.
“The generous support from the Murdock Trust is helping us make sure we continue providing quality care to our patients,” said Jeanie Gentry, CEO Steele Memorial Medical Center. “As the only hospital and only radiology department within two counties, it’s critical that we have a 3D mammography machine so we can provide the women in our community with industry-standard cancer screenings and support.”
The total cost of this equipment is about double the amount of the Murdock grant. The other half of the equipment will be paid through a donation from the SMMC Foundation. These are unrestricted funds that have been given through the years from the community and from SMMC employees.
“We are so pleased to be able to contribute towards this important piece of equipment,” stated Mike England, SMMC Foundation Chair. “We have been working towards something like this for the past couple of years. Our hope is this will turn out to save more lives, which is the purpose of SMMC.”
Steele Memorial Medical Center will receive the new 3D Mammography equipment in August and plans to start screening patients the week of August 23rd.
About M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust
The Murdock Trust, created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, provides grants to organizations in five states of the Pacific Northwest—Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington—that seek to strengthen the region’s educational, spiritual and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. Since its inception in 1975, the Trust has awarded more than 7,300 grants totaling more than $1 billion. For more information, find the Murdock Trust on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and on our website.