MARYSVILLE – At the end of each calendar year, Community Memorial Healthcare (CMH) Foundation asks community donors to help fulfill necessary equipment requests for hospital operations. Past items donors have contributed towards as part of the end-of-year campaign have included a new telemetry system for cardiac rehabilitation at $36,000, medication scanners for surgery at $1,500 or labor and delivery mattresses at $1,600. The December 2018 request was the largest request to date, and unique in that it only aimed to fulfill a single item – a whopping $166,000 to upgrade the hospital’s existing mammogram machine from 2D to 3D mammogram technology. And thanks in part to the generosity of CMH’s nearest neighbor, Landoll Corporation, fundraising is now complete only weeks after the campaign begun.
It was at an October meeting of the Marysville Rotary club where Don Landoll, president and founder of Landoll Corporation, Marysville, first heard about the need for 3D mammography in the area. “Dr. Rice and Brenda Heideman, CMH radiology director, did an excellent job at Rotary explaining the need for 3D mammography and the problems that can arise from being called back time after time for more images,” Landoll said. “Especially because probably only 8 or 10 of our Rotary club members are women.”
Currently, CMH uses typical 2D mammography imaging to help detect cancers or other breast tissue abnormalities. With this upgrade to 3D imaging, CMH will be able to reduce the number of callbacks and reimaging needed for diagnosis, as well as reduce overall patient radiation levels, making mammograms received more effective and safer for the patient. “3D imaging is particularly important for women with dense breast tissue,” said Dr. Cheryl Rice, CMH general surgeon, “because dense breast tissue is the most difficult to image with traditional mammography, and simultaneously also more likely to have a mass.”
About half of women over the age of 40 have dense breasts, she said. “This keeps us up to date with facilities in more urban areas, allowing patients to receive their care locally without travel.” Dr. Rice has extensive training and experience in overall breast health, with diagnosis and treatment of diseases, including cancer. She hopes one day that Marysville will be considered a regional hub for breast care, she said.
Rice and Heideman’s presentation about breast cancer awareness in October lead Landoll to feel compelled to contribute to the CMH Foundation’s end-of-year fundraising campaign, which officially launched in November. Letters were mailed to previous donors and community organizations asking for contributions for this one piece of equipment. “We honestly didn’t know how it would go over,” said CMH Foundation director, Pam Harrison, Hanover. “Since we normally ask for help with items covering a wide variety of diagnoses and interests at lower price points, we weren’t sure if people would feel compelled to help with this specific item if they had not personally been impacted by breast cancer. But we were very pleased with the response from the community – it’s clear this is a service this area needs and is prepared to support,” she said.
Beginning in October, which is national Breast Cancer Awareness Month, hospital employees held a number of fundraisers themed around awareness, including a wreath auction and an in memoriam balloon lift, raising about $500. Monies were also raised at a Botox and Bubbly event in November, where participants paid to receive Botox services from CMH’s plastic surgeon, Dr. Scott Thellman, Lawrence, who then donated all $1,900 in proceeds made that day back to the mammography project. Donations were also made through Facebook on “Giving Tuesday”, a day in November in which donations made to a non-profit could be eligible to receive matching funds, bringing in another $500.
Through the letter campaign and these various fundraisers, about $67,000 had been raised towards the total cost. Landoll, who is also the trustee for the R.L. & Elsa Helvering trust and president of the Guise-Weber foundation board of directors, suggested each of those community organizations contribute in larger amounts this year to help provide this necessary service to our area. The R.L. & Elsa Helvering trust contributed $15,000, and the Guise-Weber trust contributed $25,000. “When I’m looking for projects to contribute to, I want to encourage those in our community to make an investment in the things that matter – to support programs they’re interested in,” said Landoll.
After finding out what funds had already been contributed, Landoll wanted to fulfill the remaining $100,000 amount to make 3D mammography a reality in Marshall County.
“Several family members and friends have been directly impacted by breast cancer,” he said, when asked about the gift. “And, our employees come from a wide area – hopefully this is one way to give back that can give some of our regional employees direct access to services they need.”
CMH radiology director Brenda Heideman said this project comes at the perfect time. “Prior to January 1, 2019, only 2D mammography was required to be covered by insurance companies for Kansas patients. Today, 3D mammograms are now covered on the same level, setting it as the new standard of care in Kansas, among other states” she said. Now that the funds have been raised, Heideman expects the upgrade to be in operation at CMH by March 2019.
Landoll was recently recognized as “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Kansas Native Sons and Daughters, as well as being honored with the “Spirit of Marysville” award by the Marysville Chamber of Commerce – an award that recognizes strength of employment, leadership and innovation, but also dedication to the betterment of the community.
“I’m a one hundred percent believer that it’s not the amount that people can give, but it’s the heart of the gift that matters,” Landoll said. “I would never judge people by what they can give – only the impact we all make when we invest in our community.”
All donations made toward the project are greatly appreciated. Donors who contributed to bring 3D mammography to Marshall County include Elda Allerheiligen, Leo Baca, Kathy Barnard, Mary Bowsman, Randall and Sherry Brown, Citizens State Bank, Norma Coles, First Commerce Bank, Ron and Fran Grauer, Guise-Weber Foundation , David and Cheri Hamel, Diane Harrison, Verla Harrison, Curtis and Deb Hawkinson, Sandy Hershberger, Arthur and Josephine Hetzke, Gary and Joyce Holle, Mary Ann Holle, Gail Johannes, Jim and Sandy Keller, Barb Kickhaefer, Ashley Kracht, Jim and Karen Ladner, Landoll Corporation, Leo D. Ring Trust, Roger and Tammy Lohmeyer, Charlie and Sandi Loiseau, Marysville Advocate, Dennis and Norma Mason, William Oborny, Tom and Anita O’Neil, Preceptor Zeta Of Beta Sigma Phi, Cheryl Rice, Delma Richardson, RL Helvering Trust, Norma Robinson, Donald and Leanna Stenglemeier, Cleve and Rosemary Walstrom, and John and Bernadette Wilson.
The CMH Foundation will be hosting their annual casino night fundraising event on March 2, 2019. The event includes a plated dinner, gambling at games like blackjack, craps, roulette and more with play casino cash, and a silent and live auction. Funds raised will go towards the organization’s general fund, which is being used this year to fulfill smaller equipment requests to improve patient care. For more information or to purchase tickets, you can contact Pam Harrison at 785-562-4473.