On March 14, the General Hospital Breast Health Center opened its doors to provide patients with a new, centralized location for all breast health services, including imaging, treatment, genetic counseling, surgery and follow-up.
This new facility was supported by funds raised at last November’s second annual Celebrate General Hospital Gala to benefit General Hospital’s nationally recognized comprehensive cancer services. The record $1.4 million raised has also helped fund the purchase of advanced, lifesaving technology with the addition of three new 3-D mammography screening units and two new surgical robots.
“Donor support truly makes a significant difference in the lives of our cancer patients,” says Carly Benson, executive director of cancer services. “We have already treated patients whose breast cancer would not have been detected without the breakthrough 3-D mammography technology. And the surgical robots enable our physicians to operate on patients more precisely and efficiently than ever before, so we’re seeing even more positive outcomes, faster recovery and better quality of life.”
“It’s really exciting to have the most advanced imaging technology available,” says Renate Dell, supervisor of outpatient imaging. “And now the added convenience of having all of our breast health services in one location makes it even easier for our patients to get highly accurate mammograms, along with other additional services they might need.”
When Katie Aris*, nine years old, decided she wanted to help sick children, she started a collection. She asked family and friends to donate spare change, which she saved all year before giving the money to General Hospital. “I wanted to help kids because helping others is the right thing to do,” Katie says.
“She selflessly saved her money and came to the hospital to personally deliver her heartfelt donation,” says Pam Lang, director of development with General Hospital’s Department of Philanthropy. “It was inspiring to see this quality at such a young age.”
Katie’s mother, Kelsey Aris, says her daughter has always been deeply compassionate. “I was sick with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and lost all my hair,” Kelsey says. “I would sleep on the bathroom floor and she would pat my back and sleep on the floor next to me.”
In addition to collecting money, Katie has never had a haircut. She’s growing it out to donate to Locks of Love and help children who have lost their own hair to cancer. “I want to be a doctor when I grow up and thought it would be good to start helping now,” Katie says. “If we all helped each other, this world would be better.”
*Based on a true story. Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of certain individuals.
When clinical nurse specialist Vicky Johnson, MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, decided to volunteer at the hospital’s 2017 gala, she expected to participate in a good cause. She had no idea, though, that it would be such a profoundly inspirational experience.
“I was tearful—it was a moving, amazing thing to see such generosity,” says Johnson, who cares for obstetric patients and newborns at General Hospital for Children. “As an employee donor myself, I feel good knowing the Foundation supports areas at General Hospital that need it most.”
More than 700 people came to the event, which raised $1.4 million to benefit General Hospital’s cancer services.
“I love working with our dedicated staff and employee volunteers and seeing our community come together,” says Sarah Abrams, the Foundation’s events and programs development coordinator. “Our 65 employee volunteers helped make it a memorable evening.”
“I really enjoy what I do, and feel privileged to have worked here for 26 years,” says Johnson, “I hear people compliment General Hospital all the time. But to see our community come together to support us on such a grand scale was truly inspirational.”