Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Women's Diagnostic Imaging Suite

To introduce and open the new area, the KMC Foundation hosted an open house, tours and ribbon-cutting on May 11, 2007. The program featured keynote speaker Delores Churchill, renowned Ketchikan artist who was formerly a 23-year employee of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace.

"We were so excited about the opening," says Angela Salazar, Co-Chair of the fundraising campaign and member of the KMC Foundation Board of Directors. "This was our first campaign and we are so grateful to the community, employees and physicians who also recognized the need and helped make this need become a reality."

In total, over 175 individuals, businesses and organizations contributed to the Women's Diagnostic Imaging Suite (WDIS) campaign. "The project was truly a collaborative effort and without all involved we would not have been able to afford or achieve this result," states Norm Herron, MD, KMC Foundation President. "We were blessed to have so many contributors step up to the plate early on to help us launch the campaign, including several private parties, businesses such as First Bank, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, AT&T Alascom, and Skinner Sales & Service. We even received half of the funding for the new ultrasound machine from Denali Commission grant award." Other charitable grants were received from the Waterfall Foundation and Breast Cancer Detection of Alaska, First City Council on Cancer and Run for Women, First City Rotary, and the KGH Auxiliary. As Salazar so often says, "It just shows what our community can do. We step up and make sure that our family, friends and selves can have quality health care at home."

The WDIS project included replacement of older ultrasound and bone density machines with state-of-the-art equipment capable of producing and transmitting digital images and able to reduce procedure time significantly. In addition, new computer aided detection equipment was purchased which works in conjunction with mammography resulting in faster and more comprehensive local detection of potential abnormalities and anomalies of tissues and masses in the breast.

To achieve a unique and woman-centered setting, art and displays have been gathered to enhance and add color to the environment. Three display cases will hold vintage garments: a Filipino traditional dress; 1920s beaded flapper gown; and an extensive collection of colorful vintage shoes ranging from the 1920s to the 1980s. Artworks include the Evon Zerbetz series "Womankind," a series of Annie Liebowitz photos of women, and a beaded bag by Anna Annicelli. Funding for the art and displays was raised, for the most part, by the second annual "LumpiaMania" fundraiser sponsored by KGH Imaging Department employees.

"Though we are so excited about the opening, we know we have plenty of work ahead and many projects and needs to find funding for," says Carolyn Wilsie, KMC Foundation Board Members and President of the KMC Auxiliary. In order to jump-start the Foundation's efforts, the Board established the opportunity for early contributors of $3,500 or more to become part of a Founders Circle. Of the 250 plus contributors today, thirty are members of this Circle. Entry into The Founders Circle will close on Dec. 31, 2007, but recognition will remain forever.