By Jeanne Gustafson
OF THE SPOKANE JOURNAL OF BUSINESS
Inland Imaging LLC, of Spokane, says it plans to open two new mammography screening locations this month, one on Spokane’s South Hill and one in Deer Park, and has decided to establish a nonprofit foundation to support breast-cancer research and early detection.
The new mammography locations each cost about $250,000 to launch, including equipment purchases and remodeling of the premises where the equipment will be located, says Kathleen Wilson, Inland Imaging’s chief operating officer. In addition, Inland Imaging will hire about four additional staff members, including two mammography technologists and two support staff members, to provide service at the new locations, she says.
The opening of the two new locations coincides with Inland Imaging’s planned launch of a foundation, called the Every Woman Can Foundation, to support regular screening of women, which can lead to early detection of breast cancer, improving the chances women will beat the disease.
The company’s board voted recently to form the foundation, says Steve Duvoisin, the company’s CEO. He says its goals will be to help raise money for breast-cancer research, to help pay for mammograms for women who are uninsured or underinsured, and to educate women about breast cancer screening and the value of early detection of the disease.
The American Cancer Society says breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women, after lung cancer, and it estimates 40,170 women will die from breast cancer this year. It says that mammography could detect between 80 percent and 90 percent of breast tumors in women who have no symptoms.
On Spokane’s South Hill, Inland Imaging has leased about 600 square feet of space inside the Inland Aesthetic Institute, which opened recently, for one of the two new mammography screening locations. The facility is at 1923 S. Grand, across the street from Manito Park. Inland Imaging will share Inland Aesthetic’s waiting room and reception area, but will have a separate space for its mammography screening room and technologists’ area.
Wilson says the center will have a different feeling than a typical mammography screening location. “It’s a spa-like atmosphere, a different atmosphere than we’ve had,” which Inland Imaging hopes will be both relaxing and convenient for patients, she says.
In the second new location, Inland Imaging is adding breast screening equipment to its Deer Park facility at 702 S. Park Ave. there, where it has been offering magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scans for about two years.
Altogether, Inland Imaging projects it will perform about 60,000 mammograms this year, or about 8 percent more than in 2008, Wilson says.
In large part, the increase will occur due to greater efforts to educate women about the importance of breast cancer screening and to make the tests more easily accessible, Wilson says. In a survey last year of Spokane-area women, Inland Imaging found that only 50 percent of women over 40 years of age here have regular screening mammograms. The survey found that the major barriers to screening are that women lack time and have financial difficulty. Inland has implemented a number of marketing initiatives, including social networking online and hosting events for women, to increase awareness of the value of screening.
Contact Jeanne Gustafson at (509) 344-1264 or via e-mail at email@example.com.