McCall hospital is first in Idaho to offer 3-D mammography
McCall, ID (February 19, 2013) - Women who undergo annual screening mammograms at St. Luke’s McCall Breast Care Clinic now have available to them the latest diagnostic technology, a 3-dimensional mammography breast exam. 3D mammography is a revolutionary new screening and diagnostic tool designed for early breast cancer detection that is done in conjunction with a traditional 2D digital mammogram.
St. Luke’s McCall is the first healthcare facility in Idaho to offer 3D mammography. Community generosity made it possible; 100 percent of the cost of the new equipment and supporting software was donated to the hospital’s foundation.
“The original goal was to raise $437,000 to purchase full field digital mammography;
the dream was to raise an additional $150,000 for the 3D component. The community’s commitment to quality care is responsible for bringing this state-of-the-art technology
to McCall,” said Foundation Manager Jenny Ruemmele.
The Federal Drug Administration approved the technology in 2011.
“We are fortunate, when the time came to upgrade our breast imaging technology, breast tomosynthesis (3D) was available,” said Radiologist Dr. Steve Merandi. “This advanced technology allows us to view breast tissue in one millimeter slices, increasing diagnostic accuracy and reducing recall rates for non-cancer cases.”
McCall resident Nancy Bender started getting annual screening mammograms when
she was 40 years old. Radiologists told Nancy that due to having lumpy breast tissue and scar tissue from a previous condition, her mammograms were difficult to interpret and would require follow-up diagnostic mammograms and ultrasounds. Five years ago, she began receiving full field (2D) digital mammograms in the Treasure Valley. Even though full field digital mammography is one of the most advanced technologies available today, with Nancy’s type of breast tissue, follow-up diagnostic mammograms and ultrasounds were often necessary.
When Nancy heard St. Luke’s McCall was getting 3D mammography, she scheduled one of the first appointments available. “My exam was a breeze,” she said. “I’m so glad I didn’t have to drive 200 miles round trip and have the expense of staying overnight in Boise.
“Dr. Merandi viewed my images immediately after my exam and personally reviewed
the results with me before I left. It was fantastic to have the immediate feedback. For the first time in three years, I don’t have to have any follow-up exams and I don’t have to come back until next year. The follow-up exams caused me a lot of stress and worry. My husband and I can now go on our winter vacation without having this extra worry tagging along. We’re fortunate to have high quality radiologists, mammography technologists, and breast care nurses who are dedicated to accuracy and really care about each patient’s concerns.”
“McCall is in a unique situation to be able to offer 3D mammograms,” Merandi said. “Initially we will be adding the 3D technology in conjunction with the 2D exam at no additional charge. As practitioners dedicated to early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, we are excited to offer this cutting-edge technology.” The cost for screening mammograms is the same at all St. Luke’s Breast Care Clinics.
St. Luke’s has built a breast care program that’s unmatched in the region for breadth
of service and technology, and depth of knowledge and expertise. St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute (MSTI) is the region's largest provider of cancer services and a nationally recognized leader in cancer research. MSTI provides advanced care to thousands of patients every year at clinics in Boise, Fruitland, Meridian, Nampa, and Twin Falls, Idaho.
Now all St. Luke’s sites offer advanced technology for breast cancer detection, with St. Luke’s Jerome recent update to full field digital, including the specially equipped St. Luke’s Mobile Mammography Coach.
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you can know that St. Luke’s will be with you every step of the way. Financial assistance is available for women who qualify by calling 630-2215.
6/19/12 - St. Luke's McCall Garners National Award for
Exceeding Patient Satisfaction
St. Luke’s McCall has received Avatar International’s national award for exceeding patient expectations during 2011. This is the third time St. Luke’s McCall has received this prominent award.
The National Exceeding Patient Expectations Award is presented to those medical facilities that exceed patient satisfaction ratings in three critical areas: 1) quality of
care, 2) reliability, and 3) individualization and preparation before the visit.
“This is an enormously rewarding accomplishment,” said Lisa Looney, CNO, Patient
Care and Nursing at St. Luke’s McCall. “This exceptional patient rating reflects on
every physician, nurse, and employee of the hospital. Setting high performance standards and collaboratively striving to surpass them is a core principle of the hospital’s culture.”
Avatar International is an independent survey company that anonymously surveys patients following their use of hospital services. The patient responses are collected throughout the year and compared to a national data base of large and small U.S. hospitals.
“Department leaders carefully review the survey results and implement suggestions
that help us improve patient care,” said Karen Evans, VP of Diagnostic Services at St. Luke’s McCall. “We listen to our patients and do our best to exceed their expectations. It is important to confirm, through Avatar’s anonymous surveys, that we are achieving this goal.”
Hospital departments surveyed in determining this award include outpatient surgery, laboratory, obstetrics, sleep lab, cardiopulmonary/EKG, radiology, emergency department, and outpatient procedures.
11/10/11 - Jan Appel Receives St. Luke's President's Award
Jan Appel, RN, who has worked 28 years as a nurse in McCall, recently received the President’s Award from St. Luke’s Health System CEO and President Dr. David Pate.
Appel is one of only ten employees from all St. Luke’s sites to receive this honor. "We are fortunate to have a nurse leader and role model like Jan Appel help establish our levels of nursing care at St. Luke's McCall," said Lisa Looney, Chief Nursing Officer at St. Luke’s McCall.
Appel’s commented "As a nurse, I try to appreciate the everyday recognition we receive from patients in forms of a smile, head nod, or hand squeeze. To be recognized by the President of the St. Luke's Health System for my lifetime dedication to nursing and patients, is one of my most intensely satisfying nursing (career) experiences."
Jan’s nomination stated: Jan is a leader and a visionary in the nursing field. She is recognized as the “go to” person for nursing IT at McCall and has been instrumental in interfacing McCall’s electronic medical records with nursing practices. Jan helped develop the standards for nursing competencies in rural settings and teaches numerous courses within the Rural Residency Program for new graduate nurses. Fellow nurses know they can count on Jan to help out as a staff nurse when needed, to step into a lead role in situations where other nurses have less experience, and to solve problems before they escalate. She has served three times as Interim Director of Nursing at McCall and brings grace and confidence to all her roles.
The Community Care Clinic and St. Luke’s McCall are holding a public meeting on Tuesday, November 1, at 7 pm in the Hospital Conference rooms at St. Luke’s McCall. We are seeking input on the health care needs of the underinsured and uninsured members of our community. Our two not-for-profit organizations are working together
to better understand the health care challenges facing our community, such as lack of access due to insurance status or the high cost of health care for working families. Identifying unmet needs and hearing directly from patients will help us better respond
in the future. If you are unable to attend, but would like to share your input, please contact Jenny Ruemmele at 634-4061, ext 131. Click here to take our online survey.
October 2011. Dan Krahn, Chairman of the Board of Directors for St. Luke’s McCall, received the Idaho Hospital Association’s Trustee of the Year Award.
The award is presented to one hospital trustee who “has made exemplary
contributions to improve his or her hospital’s service to its patients; has demonstrated outstanding leadership and contributed to the continued viability of the organization; has been successful in arousing public concern for community healthcare needs and enhancing the overall quality and scope of access to healthcare services provided to
According to Dan, “I don’t consider this to be an individual award. It is on behalf of the dedication of our hospital employees, the expertise of our medical staff, the devotion
of our Auxiliary and Foundation, the confidence of our donors, and the sound judgment of our other Trustees that I accept this honor.
The Idaho Hospital Association is a statewide, nonprofit trade association of 39 hospitals that brings hospital/health care leaders together to identify issues of mutual concern.
St. Luke’s McCall Physician Awarded Prestigious Teaching Honor
September 2011. Caitlin Gustafson, M.D., a practicing family physician at St. Luke’s McCall, is among a select group of physicians honored by the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation for her commitment to education in the field of family medicine.
Dr. Gustafson was selected to receive a 2011 Pfizer Teacher Development Award
based on her scholastic achievement, leadership qualities and dedication to family medicine. The Pfizer Teacher Development Awards recognize those outstanding physicians in active practice who give of themselves to teach, mentor, and inspire residents and students.
Dr. Gustafson is currently a part-time instructor at the University of Washington, Department of Family Medicine, where she will be recognized for this achievement
during a ceremony held by her teaching center. Dr. Gustafson earned her medical degree from University of Colorado School of Medicine and is a graduate of the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho program. She is currently on Assignment with Doctors without Borders in Misrata, Libya where she joins an international team providing hospital care, primarily involved in Maternal/Newborn care; her assignment will last