by Robbie McKay, The Lincoln News
MILLINOCKET – October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Millinocket Regional Hospital has just recently passed the intensely rigorous State of Maine Quality Assurance Inspection from the Department of Health and Human Services for its Diagnostic Imaging department. DHHS was on site for 9 hours reviewing the policies and procedures within the department including quality tests completed regularly on the machines and tracking every patient to insure proper care and follow through. Every mammogram facility in the state must pass this inspection in order to continue to provide this diagnostic service.
Two employees in particular, Kara McDunnah and Erica Jipson, spent many hours preparing for the inspection and are continuously working to maintain the proper records required to stay in compliance. Katie Mackin, marketing coordinator for MRH, acknowledged the employees tireless service.
“This is a tremendous amount of work and we are so grateful for the time Kara and Erica have dedicated to ensure our Diagnostic Imaging department is in compliance with the State of Maine Quality standards,” Mackin said.
In addition to passing the Quality Assurance Inspection, MRH is a Pink Ribbon Facility for Excellence in breast health. They are also certified by the American College of Radiology Mammography Accreditation Commission on quality and safety, none of which are designations that are easily achieved.
Early detection of breast cancer with mammography means that treatment can be started earlier in the course of the disease, possibly before it has spread. 84% of the woman in Maine aged 40 and older report having had a mammogram in the past 2 years, among the highest rates in the nation. Regular screening mammograms and clinical breast exams are the most common ways for screening of breast cancer.
MRH’s Diagnostic Imaging department is overseen by a core group of highly trained radiologists from Spectrum Radiology, the same medical group who provides services at EMMC and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bangor. Diagnostic Imaging at Millinocket Regional Hospital is inviting the public to stop by anytime in October for a tour of the Mammography department or to obtain information concerning the resources that are available to help fight this disease.
“We have information for uninsured or low income women to obtain a free or low cost screening mammogram. We also have information here in Diagnostic Imaging about other options, so please stop by anytime for a tour. We’d love to assist you any way we can,” said Mackin.
Diagnostic Imaging was selected as the 2017 MRH Department of the Year by a nomination of their peers. Their dedication to the organization and their patients was reinforced when they requested to forgo department of the year apparel and instead donate the funds to the Oncology clinic for the purchase of a new chemo chair. The new chair will provide much needed comfort to patients who are spending hours upon hours in them while receiving treatment.
About Millinocket Regional Hospital
Millinocket Regional Hospital (MRH) is a 25 bed Critical Access Hospital nestled at the base of Baxter State Park that provides vital healthcare services to those who live, work and play in the Katahdin Region. Beyond the friendly staff and award-winning patient care, MRH provides an impressive range of specialty and general services; with a recent expansion resulting in the addition of eight new specialties and a Walk-In Care facility. In 2016, MRH was recognized as the Cleanest Hospital in New England by Becker’s Hospital Review and received a five star rating on the Medicare Quality Scale. Providing jobs to approximately 250 people, MRH is the largest employer in the Katahdin Region and a crucial economic force within its community. For more information, please visit www.mrhme.org or www.facebook.com/MillinocketRegionalHospital